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August 18, 2020 52 min

Kimberly Riley, returns to the Arise Podcast with her friend and colleague Desiree Cadengo. Both are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and they join Danielle to talk about how to get kids, parents and families through distance learning this coming Fall.  

"We need to be adjusting for the long haul" of distance learning. At the end of the last school year it was very much a hunker down and get through this, but as we look at the longevity and severity of COVID-19 we need to rethink how we're going to do this upcoming school year. 

Both Kimberly and Desiree emphasize the importance of having structure and a schedule at home. 

How can we expect kids to manage themselves when we as adults are having a hard time managing life under COVID? Parents must lead by example, as well as with our words and expectations. 

Everyone is adjusting. It's not just kids, adults are working from home. We're all having to reimagine what normal looks like

Kids are asking, "Is anything the same?" 

Kids are better at adjusting than adults because they are constantly learning and adjusting as they grow.

How to form cohesiveness in our families in communities--start with networking. Ask around, who's home? Neighbors? Extended family? Who is working? Who's not? We need to be reaching out to others so we remember we're not alone in this. We can work together on a smaller scale if we let people know we need help and can help. 

Social isolation has been a big issue for children.  There is something we can do: Zoom calls, phones calls, social distancing outside. Kids need interaction with other kids, however that may look in this next season. 

Danielle says it's important to put some of these practices in place before the weather turns and social distancing outside will be less possible. 

Kids are having a dramatic increase in screen time. There needs to be balance, parents still need to monitor the screen time. Screens can be helpful and educational... But there still needs to be limits and parents need to know what the kids are watching. What they are watching is affecting them. Scary and inappropriate images, cyber bullying are causing some kids to have nightmares. Parents are coming aware, they can no longer be detached because they are actually home with their kids. Parents need to regulate their children's screen time. 

Basic parenting practices are being illuminated during COVID. Kids need screen regulation as well as adults! We can be asking ourselves, "When am I going to put my phone down and be present?" Be honest with your kids when they ask you (as the parent) what you're doing on the screens; are you working? are you just zoning out? are you looking for something funny to cope with this challenging season? are you socializing?

Lead by example -- it's healthy for adults to have a time limit on screens as well. We all need balance!

We can also use screen to engage with each other. For instance doing art with a  "Step by step painting" video: Do it with your kids. Get your Bob Ross on. Coping skills and finding other ways to connect through exploration.

Kimberly's family decided to try learning how to skateboard--they ordered a skateboard, the wheels and all the tools they need to put it together. She said there's probably stuff around your house that can be put together with the kids. What do you already have? There are things in your house that can entertain you. Trying taking things apart and putting them back together. Try to be spontaneous and get creative

Desiree had her kids make slime and then had them put it inside balloons to make stress balls. Take flashlights to your LEGO. Build a fort. Make play dough. Google some ideas! It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Bake or cook or new recipe. Sleep in the tent out in the backyard. Your kids just want to be with you. Let them know you enjoy being with them. 

What do you have in your house and what can you give out of what you have to others that are in greater need? Who's my neighbor, who's in my community and how can I come alongside them in this season?

There are people out there who have difficulty asking for help. We need to be reaching out to those around us. People are feeling alone because of social distancing; there are people struggling in their homes. People are experiencing high levels of stress and we can do even something small to try to connect. Simply asking "how are you handling things right now?" Reach out, do what you can as a community. 

Kimberly talks about how some ethnic culture identities say: Community. People of Color especially are familiar with the idea of connecting within a community. Look at your black and brown neighbors to see how they are doing community in this season. What can you do to show love and connect?

Connect with Kimberly:


Kimberly is reading facebook feeds to stay connected socially. Kimberly is listening to 90s RnB and Hip Hop
Kimberly is inspired by communities of color and how they are connection

Desiree is reading about Kids and Screen Time
Desiree is inspired by the families she is working with, they don't give up!


Dr. Kimberly Riley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified child mental health specialist in the state of Washington. She has experience working with children and is passionate about their behavioral health needs, although she currently works mostly with couples and families in the private practice setting. She loves being a wife and mom to her 3 teenage daughters. She also enjoys traveling to and exploring new places with her family.

Desiree Cadengo [Bio] licensed is also a LMFT and works as a Child and Family Therapist

Chemical Dependency Certificate, Olympic College Mar 2016

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, Brandman University 2015

BS in Criminal Justice, American Intercontinental University 2005

About 10 years of experience working with children, youth and families through different non- profit organizations and church, also completed my master's degree program internship as a school counselor at Pinecrest Elementary School. 

I provide mental health counseling to individuals (young children, adolescents, & adults) and families to help facilitate change that they agree is going to be most useful. I integrate a number of different therapeutic styles and modalities, depending on what fits the best with the client and situation. Treatment modalities include Play Therapy, Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, Solution-Focused therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Enhancement Threapy, as well as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy techniques.

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