Big Kid Small City Feature

I had a fun boost recently when a popular local blog did a feature on me and my private practice! Jill writes the Big Kid Small City blog and highlights family friendly people, places and events in Houston.  You can find the piece about me by following the link:

Big Kid Small City, Powerful Play

Any Houstonians (or visitors to the area) should browse around the blog as there are reviews of local parks, kid-friendly restaurants, and a guide to events in the area for every weekend.

Advertisements

New Child Life Blogs

I’ve seen a few new child life blogs pop up recently, and I thought I should share them here.  I’m always excited to see new child life voices and perspectives pop up in blogs and social media.  I keep a list of CCLS blogs and sites on the sidebar, and I’m always on the lookout for more.  So, if I’m missing a good child life read, please let me know!

Childlifeology

Childlifeology is written by Stefani Tower; a Bank Street graduate, child life specialist and mom of 2. She covers a lot of different areas relevant for child life specialists, students and parents including book reviews, resources and psychosocial topics.

Connecting with Compassion: The Confessions of Two Child Life Specialists

Caroline and Sydney are recent graduates and certified child life specialists.  They share their experiences (one is starting her first child life job, the other is in grad school and teaching early childhood), tips for students starting the child life journey, and review lots of resources.

Play Specialists

This site offers an international perspective on psychosocial care with information for health play specialists in the UK.  Their role is very similar to child life in the US.  You can learn about their higher education requirements, training, resources, and practice.  It’s a very new site, so they are just now adding content. However, I’m looking forward to reading all about how a similar profession functions “across the pond”!

Let’s spread the love of all things child life by building a strong network of CCLS online!  As always, like, share, follow and help our community grow…

 

Trying A New Look

Which one to choose?

Which one to choose?

I felt it was time to give the blog a little makeover.  There isn’t an easy way to put the blog in “maintance mode” without changing the settings to private (which means no one would be able to see it and search engines would ignore it). So, please bear with me as I change themes and make tweaks to the visual elements and sidebar area.  I’m currently playing around with the Fictive Theme and I really like a lot about the look and the customization.  I’m not 100% sold yet, so don’t be surprised if it changes again as I feel like it is a little harder to navigate.  Please feel free to leave comments with your opinion and how the blog reads on your internet browser/mobile device.  Feedback is helpful!

Photo Credit: LexnGer via Flickr

Five Things I Love About Private Practice

From our mini staycation a year ago when we visited the Rice Gallery. Saw the amazing installation piece "Unwoven Light" by Soo Sunny Park.

From our mini staycation a year ago: saw the amazing installation piece “Unwoven Light” by Soo Sunny Park at the Rice Gallery.

A year ago today was my last day in the hospital. I was packing up the last of my things, trying to make sure my colleagues knew where to find things, and saying goodbyes. We provided transitional care for kids, so many of our patients stayed with us for several weeks. Whenever a patient was discharged, an announcement was made over the paging system and staff and patients would line the hallway to the exit to sing the “goodbye” song. When it was time for me to leave, they sang the goodbye song for me, and I couldn’t help but cry. It was such a nice way to end my time there. It felt special to end the day with a ritual more personal than just walking out the door with boxes.

I’ve reached a new milestone in this journey. It makes me grateful for the time and opportunity I’ve had and the people who have supported me in this endeavor. I’m looking forward to the year ahead. I think that sometimes in my desire to present an honest portrait of child life private practice that I emphasize the challenges. There has been a lot to learn, and I don’t want someone to step into this choice with unrealistic expectations. But, today I want to highlight a few of the things I really enjoy about working in private practice:

1. A flexible schedule: I get to schedule my own time and I can make appointments (both personal and professional) at times that are convenient for me. I can spend time with family during the week.

2. Depth of engagement: If I’m putting together materials for a parent talk or working with a client, I can spend as much time as I want to research and prepare. I recently researched resources for preparing children for a new baby. I was able to go to the central library and spend several hours reading children’s books and creating an annotated bibliography.

3. Continuing education: This goes hand-in-hand with depth of engagement. I can attend local talks, workshops, and other activities that happen in my area as my schedule (and budget!) allows.

4. Diversity of projects: I can work on this blog, meet with individual clients, teach classes, talk to parent groups and lots of different things in between. Child life is diverse in any setting, but it is fun to explore new territory. I enjoy the challenge of adapting my child life skills/training to the home and community setting.

5. Self-care– I’m able to pursue interests and engage in activities that I enjoy and that make me feel centered and connected. I’m still working to develop more “rhythm” to my weeks and my self-care practices. But, I love that I have the choice to read/exercise, take a walk, visit a museum, or work on craft projects when I need to take time for myself.

 

A Heartfelt Thanks

you are so sweet!

you are so sweet!

Wow.  I’m truly amazed by the interest in yesterday’s post.  I normally have a small (but loyal!) blog following.  Yesterday, I had more visitors than ever before, by a big margin.  Part of the reason I write this blog is to widen my circle, to be part of a larger community of people that love child life. So, I want to say thank you to everyone that has stopped by to read a bit. Whether you’ve been following for a long time, or are a first-time visitor, I’m glad you are here.  I’ll be continuing the discussion of starting a private practice in a series of posts, probably 4-5 over the next few weeks.  If you want to make sure you see them all, you can “Follow” the blog by clicking the button on the sidebar. You’ll receive an email letting you know there’s a new post.  I’d also really love to hear your questions and ideas.  For me, blogging is about sharing and I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to join the conversation, and thanks again for stepping into my circle. I’m truly grateful.

Starting Out

Child life specialists are professionals trained to address the psychosocial needs of children and families in healthcare settings. Basically, child life specialists help to explain illness, procedures, and other aspects of the hospital experience in age-appropriate ways. Child life specialists also provide play and social experiences for children of all ages in the hospital, and provide support for their siblings and families. I follow many wonderful health care blogs, but have only found a few written by child life staff. Hence the beginning of this blog.

I will be posting a little about my work in the hospital, healthcare issues relevant to the child life profession, and the fun of using play everyday. I also want to share my favorite activities, resources, and materials for working with children both in and out of the hospital. Out of deep respect for the privacy of my young patients, all of the stories about patients are fictionalized. Any mention of children, siblings or parents is fiction based on my experience working with many families.