Wednesday, December 6, 2017

#ThankfulThursday: North Park Gingertown Benefits CCA!

We are so thankful for Gingertown Dallas. Now in its eighth year, this display of gingerbread houses and other creations made of confections has helped Children's Craniofacial Association. Last year $20,000 was raised in Dallas through this incredible event.  

Gingertown, started in 2006, by David M. Schwarz Architects "is a unique holiday initiative which brings together talent from local design, urban planning, engineering, and construction firms for a live build competition to help spread joy and hope during the holidays." We are thrilled that all these firms come together to help raise awareness about CCA Kids at a place where so many people come together to purchase presents for their friends and family. 

There are Gingertown's across the United States in Washington, D.C., Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX, and Atlanta, GA. The one located in Dallas benefits CCA, while those in other cities benefits hospitals, nonprofits, and other organizations. If you wish to become a sponsor for Gingertown 2018 in one of these cities, please contact Schwarz Architects at 

Thank you all for your hard work in raising funds and awareness for craniofacial conditions through your building talents. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Nurturing Emotional Intelligence For Kids

Amy Williams is a freelance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.

By Amy K. Williams
As children go through their day, it is inevitable that they will experience a wide array of emotions—the ones they feel as well as those expressed by others. Emotionally intelligent children have an ability to recognize these feelings and make good decisions accordingly. What’s so great about this is that emotional intelligence can be learned, and such learning often starts at home. For parents who want to nurture emotional intelligence in their kids, here are a few suggestions that can ensure your child develops this very important life skill.

Empathize with Your Child

The ability to empathize is an important quality that demonstrates emotional intelligence. Children will readily emulate what they see at home, including whether or not they empathize with others. Much of a child’s behaviors are based upon what they have learned from their parents. This is why it is so important for parents to empathize with their children if they want to encourage them to be emotional intelligent. It is more likely that children will empathize and be kind to others when they have received this from those who are most important to them. For instance, parents can routinely acknowledge their children’s feelings and let them know you care. As a result, the child will feel understood and will learn to display these same empathetic behaviors when they interact with others. This will in turn, strengthen their emotional intelligence skills.
Allow Your Child to Freely Express Their Emotions

Another great way to nurture emotional intelligence in children is to allow them to freely express themselves. Parents should openly accept the full range of emotions that their children display on a daily basis. From bouts of anger and disappointment over not getting something they wanted, to squabbles with siblings, allow your child to express what they are feeling. Unfortunately, minimizing or denying a child’s emotions will send them the wrong message. Such a message will tell them that what they are feeling is not important and that they should suppress their emotions. While a child may learn to hide their feelings, these feelings do not just disappear. Instead, encourage emotional intelligence in your child by acknowledging their emotions—whether good or bad—and letting them know that it is okay to feel that way given the circumstances.

Teach Children to Reflect Back on Their Feelings

Also, teach children early on how to think back on how they were feeling. Children of all ages can greatly benefit from learning how to name and identify their various feelings. As an example, if a child throws a tantrum over something, a parent can say to their child, “I know that you felt frustrated over not being able to do what you wanted. It is okay to feel frustrated over this. What is another way you can respond next time?” Such encouraging words will help the child to recognize their emotions, understand them, and make better decisions in similar situations. In this manner, parents who want to nurture emotional intelligence can Help their children manage their emotions and regulate them going forward. This also means that children can learn how to calm their emotions in tough situations which will give them a chance to think back on the emotions they were experiencing.

Nurture and encourage emotional intelligence in your child by being empathetic towards them, by allowing them to express their emotions and by teaching them how to reflect back on what they have been feeling. Parents can teach children emotional intelligence everyday by displaying qualities of emotional intelligence themselves. From recognizing and understanding the emotions and feelings children are experiencing, to encouraging children to do the same with others, emotional intelligence can bring many benefits towards a child’s well-being, with parents being their children’s greatest teachers.

A Note From the Hudson Family

Wonder mania continues. Program director, Annie Reeves received a message from Mike Hudson last week. The local volleyball team and some students from a neighboring high school joined him for a screening of the movie "Wonder." He looks like he is having the time of his life with all these lovely ladies. Not only did they go see the film, but Carolyn, Mike's mom also raised money for Children's Craniofacial Association on Facebook for her birthday. She raised $630! Wow! Thank you so much Hudson family. 

You can donate your birthday, too. Contact Annie to find out how you raise money on your special day. 

Check out the message Annie received from Carolyn Hudson below...

Hi Annie, 

I just wanted to share some good news 

1. This is a picture of Michael and some of my students /volleyball players that went to see wonder together. 


It was such a special moment plus I thought it was special when a close friend took a picture alone with her group of students 


Plus for my birthday on Facebook. We did a fundraiser for CCA and raised $630. Plus, we are trying to get this dollar account matched. . 

I just wanted to let you know the good things that have occurred. 

Thanks for all you do

Sign Up For Surgery Care Packages!

Is your child having surgery? CCA wants to be there for you and your family.

You can sign up on this page for a "Get Well" card, a care package, or a call of support for you, your partner, or your child!

We will work to match your needs with our resources, to help you get through the experience feeling loved and supported. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

#ThankfulThursday: Counting Our "Wonder"-filled Blessings

By Kara Jackman 

We are thankful for so many things on this #ThankfulThursday....thanks to the door of opportunity that "Wonder" opens each day.  Let us take stock and reflect!

Today, we are thankful for our friends who shared their stories with newspapers, local TV news, online through their words and reflections.

We are grateful that we celebrate our differences. It is through sharing our differences that we grow closer together. 

We are grateful for the conversations that the book and the movie, "Wonder," have begun,  that make the craniofacial community more accepted and understood. We have made the world a kinder place by sharing our stories, struggles, triumphs and so much more.

We are thankful for the positive reception the movie received from the film critic community and the public. People embraced it with arms wide open thanks to the storytelling of R.J. Palacio and the creators of the film.

We are thankful for those members of the CCA community that have stepped up and spoken to classrooms filled with students all around the globe that read the book. You brought the book to life in ways that make the characters drawn by R.J. Palacio whole, complete, and authentic. You speak from your heart about your personal truth and experiences. We thank you for the great advice you give to children about advocating against bullying, asking kids to choose kind, and living life with integrity. 

We are thankful that the movie "Wonder" continues to be seen by more and more people in the United States and across the world, as it premieres in other countries. Each viewing means an opportunity for increased kindness in this world that sometimes can feel unkind and bleak.

Finally, we are thankful for the hope cultivated by your actions and activism. The country, world, and universe need this hope. You are it! Keep on going!

Thank you!