During a recent Healthy Families program team meeting, Family Support Specialist Netra Brown led staff members in a learning activity. They were challenged to keep balloons bouncing in the air while remaining seated. The balloons represented the many responsibilities of life and attendees discussed how stress can hinder the ability to keep their “balloons in the air.”

Then they talked about how they can empathize with their clients. They thought of different scenarios and levels of stress parents endure. For example, “If someone is already stressed, what more does it take to push them over the edge?” said Family Support Specialist Sheila Martinez. “What is their breaking point?”

They also embraced the truth that sometimes it’s okay to let a balloon fall to the ground. “Real parenting has challenges,” said Healthy Families Senior Director Ellen Graber-McCrae, “and we can’t always do it all.”



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