Always Forever Family Challenge:

Always, Forever Family Challenge:

It’s no secret that times are hard for many people around the world right now.  In the middle of economic hardship, illness, uncertainty, fear, and isolation, there can be many dangerous moments for our smallest neighbors.  These are the moments we all need to challenge one another to HAVE A PLAN in place when the stress arises.

I remember when times in my own life were hard to understand.  When I was a child, our lives were turbulent, and there were times when we were homeless and struggling to get by.  My parents struggled with addiction, my birth father ended up being incarcerated for the majority of my childhood because of terrible choices to abuse his children.  My birth mother had boyfriends who were awful to her and to her children.  I remember watching when one of my siblings took the brunt of the abuse because he had more behavioral struggles.  I remember hiding from the violence, but there were also times when I would try to stop it, and I would find myself in the crossfires of domestic war. I remember watching my mother battle her severe depression episodes.  Often times, her tears would turn to anger, and her anger would turn into neglect or abusive behaviors.  Friend, NOW’S the time when people need to support one another anyway possible.  Check on your neighbors.  Call your friends who have children and make sure they are doing okay.

Now I am a mom, and although I love them so very much, there are times when I can’t handle the pressure alone. Hear me when I say that I have had to call someone to help me as my child threw a temper tantrum about something that was out of my control.  I have had to ask for financial help and emotional support.  I have had to penny pinch and pray a ton that we could make it to the next week.  We all need help sometimes.  We don’t need to point fingers or shame one another.  We need to help each other identity what to do in these difficult moments.

This challenge is for every parent! The ones who have it all together and the ones who need a little support. This is for the rich, middle class, and poor! This is something we can all commit to and share with every parent we know. It’s to help before it’s too late. Loving our children means being willing to step up and commit to another way. This Always Forever challenge is about finding another way. Our children deserve to hear the adults around them say, “Always Forever you will be my sweet baby, Always Forever I’ll love you like crazy!”

Always, Forever Commitment: 

First, say these words: I promise that I will do my absolute best to provide for my children emotionally, physically, or mentally.  I promise to provide for their needs the best that I can during this time of hardship. I promise if I reach a point where I need help, I will ask for help so that my children do not suffer.   Second, encourage others to do the same.

Always, Forever Family Bonding/Fun Challenge:

Commit to doing something fun as a family at least once a day. During hard times, remember that children need creativity, fun, exercise, help, and love! Share your fun ideas with us and the world.

Always, Forever Family Bonding/Fun Challenge ideas:

  • Read a book together
  • Clean out the garage together. Some dads would love help with this.
  • Go for a run together down your street
  • Get in the car and drive around your town, allowing everyone in the car to pick one song to listen to, and everyone has to be silly and enjoy each song. Even if it is “one-eyed one horn flying purple people eater.”
  • Take a nap together
  • Clean your room on a time-lapse and see whose video is shorter
  • Paint something together
  • Make funny faces, and take pictures. We love the fish face in our house.
  • Do your work together in your PJs
  • Watch a family movie together
  • Cook together
  • Dance together
  • Sing together
  • Make paper airplanes and fly them


Create a corner in a room and call it the “calming corner.”  Have a little box of things that your child can do to calm down and discuss with them what this box is for.  When they are having a hard time processing their emotions, send them to hang out in their calming corner.

Things for them to do:

  • Close their eyes
  • Stretch their body
  • Draw
  • Do a puzzle
  • Squeeze a ball
  • Count to ten
  • Think happy thoughts
  • Read a book
  • Hug their stuffed animal
  • Take 3 deep breaths
  • Play with Legos
  • Play with Kinetic Sand
  • Call a friend or family member
    • They can even make up their own calming strategy.

This resource is fantastic for parents to use while creating a calming corner.

Adult Stress Relieving ideas:

  • Close your eyes
  • Stretch their body
  • Draw
  • Do a puzzle
  • Squeeze a ball
  • Count to ten
  • Think happy thoughts
  • Read a book
  • Hug their stuffed animal
  • Take 3 deep breaths
  • Play with Legos
  • Play with Kinetic Sand
  • Lock the bathroom door and sit in the tub with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon for a moment and indulge
  • Take a shower
  • Call a relative or friend and tell them you have no idea what to do but you don’t want to lose it with your child
  • Listen to music
  • Play an instrument
  • Play with makeup
  • Build something
  • Exercise

Whatever you do, I am begging you right now to make a plan for you and your family.  Take the Always, Forever Family Challenge today, and share it with your friends and family as well.

My family is taking the challenge to call for help if we need help:

This week we also chose to: Take a nap with a kiddo

Make fish faces at each other:

Go for a jog:

Paint together:

Drive around town and listen to music in the car together:

What are you going to do to bond with your children?  What will you do when you are stressed? Comment below!

If you are a parent or child in need help, please call or text:

Child Help: 1-800-422-4453

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

Sexual Assault Hotline:

Domestic Violence Hotline:

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Hotline:


For Abilene Residence:  Betty Hardwick: 1-800-758-3344,  New Horizons: 1-877-261-3777

Make Every Moment Count!  Love, Stephanie Ellison


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