As we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to a new year, let’s take a look back at the good things that happened in 2020! Yes, we faced unprecedented challenges and dealt with some very broken parts of our society but we also had the opportunity to slow down a bit and discover how we can change for the better. At MetroFamily, we are so privileged to journey through each year with you and your family, bringing you the good news happening in our communities every month. Here are 20 of our favorite articles and blog posts of 2020.
- Series on Mental Wellness – Mental health has been at the forefront of our mission and this year we tapped into a local network of experts to support families’ whole health and well-being. From signs of postpartum depression, how to talk to teens about depression, addressing anxiety in children and overcoming mom guilt, our 12-part series dives deep into family mental wellness. Look for even more articles in 2021!
- Beavers Bend Getaway – Travel plans got tipped on their head, leaving many families looking for alternative getaways. Beavers Bend and Southeastern Oklahoma offered the perfect in-state getaway many families were looking for to shake off those quarantine blues.
- Community Champions – With the passage of MAPS 4 in 2019, the vibrant community of northeast Oklahoma City is set to receive an overdue economic boost. Three moms who live and work in this culturally rich, historically significant part of our city share their passion for celebrating and elevating this close-knit community championing diversity and inclusion.
- Thank You: From the spouse of a frontline physician – So many of us struggled to live with the challenges of a global pandemic. In fact, Madi Pontikes, the author of this blog post, wrote that she believes that 100 percent of people are battling with the highs and lows of social distancing as well as the fear of a global pandemic. “We all have unique situations, and they’re ALL hard,” she said. She penned her thoughts early in the pandemic and they are still relevant today.
- STEM Across Oklahoma – An extended summer break and virtual learning were unexpected hiccups in many families’ educational plans. But we know that kids can learn anywhere so we put together some weekend adventures with built-in, STEM-related activities!
- Groundbreaking safe spaces for metro teens – Three metro organizations set out to create specialized resources for metro teens including a drop-in center and overnight shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, the first inpatient specialized behavioral health program dedicated to LGBTQ+ teens and 24-hour, over-the-phone crisis support for youth.
- Language Matters – One of the most powerful, important, life-long relationship dynamics we can have in life is that of siblings. Yet we aren’t taught how to do this brother or sister thing. Stacey Johnson, a licensed professional counselor, discusses strategies to foster healthy sibling relationships.
- Enneagrams & Your “School-At-Home” Style – Identifying ourselves by our enneagram numbers seems to be the new way we communicate and relate to each other. But how might each enneagram type’s strengths positively impact this non-traditional school year?
- An Open Letter to My Children’s Teachers – An abrupt end to the 2019-2020 school year left many families feeling a sense of loss. Our editor Erin Page shared her perspective on what was it like to let go of what should have been.
- Dear Classmates of 2020 – Dylan Ruiz, a 2020 graduate of U.S. Grant High School, challenged his classmates to rethink their perspectives and focus on their bright futures.
- Catalyst for Change – Justin Brown runs the state’s largest agency, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Brown shares candid truths about his first year on the job and his vision for the future.
- Kid Biz Whizzes – The next generation of Oklahoma business owners is coming in strong, with an eye for profit-making and hearts for giving back. Serenity, Malachi and Sophie share how their respective businesses launched, what they’ve learned and their plans for the future.
- What I hope my son learns – One local dad shares the emotional weight of fatherhood and the expectations of what being a father to a boy in today’s world holds.
- A Black Father’s Grief – Grief doesn’t discriminate because of race, gender or socioeconomic status. Travis Hartfield writes about the collective grief and stressors the Black community faces.
- The Heart of An Activist – Ruth Rolfe started her journey as an activist at just 14-years-old. Read her inspiring story about advocacy, education and equality.
- Giving Back – Volunteering as a family is an excellent way to spend time together, benefit the community and teach kids about the importance of giving to others. We rounded up socially-distant opportunities to safely volunteer as a family and impact our community.
- The Hair Initiative – CASA volunteer, hairstylist and non-profit founder, Emma Butler created a volunteer effort connecting foster parents with hair care resources for kids of color.
- Talking to Kids about Racism – Dr. Tamecca Rogers, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tulsa Technology Center, offers advice on age-appropriate conversations about race and racism.
- Parties in a Pandemic – From birthday parades and festive front-yard signs to Zoom parties and extra-special décor, we took a look at some of the hottest trends in party planning, perfect for times of pandemic and beyond.
- Collateral Damage – Local moms discuss the effect of the pandemic on working moms.
Bonus: When COVID-19 first entered the picture back in March and many businesses in our community closed, we set out to find new ways to stay connected with metro families. We began our Raising OKC Kids: Conversations with MetroFamily video podcast series. Born out of a desire to provide content and resources parents need in the ways that are most helpful, Raising OKC Kids features conversations with local experts that highlight a variety of important topics.
Here are our top video podcasts from our inaugural year:
- Episode 25 – Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth
- Episode 29 – Talking to Teens & Tweens About Racism
- Episode 37 – 2020 OKC Housing Market
- Episode 42 – How do we come together, in a divisive year, with a pandemic?
- Episode 6 – Parenting in a Pandemic: Balancing work and motherhood