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The start of the new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides the following list of ideas for you to talk to your children about trying, depending on their age.


  • I will try hard to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.
  • I will let my parents help me  brush my teeth twice a day.
  • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I will learn how to help clear the table when I am done eating.
  • I will be friendly to all animals. I will learn how to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.
  • I will do my best to be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.
  • I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared.

Kids, 5 to 12 years old

  • I will drink reduced-fat milk and water most days. Soda and fruit drinks are only for special times.
  • I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright, sunny days. I will try to remember to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll try to be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by asking them to join activities such as sports or games.
  • I will tell an adult about bullying that I see or hear about to do what I can to help keep school safe for everyone.
  • I will keep my personal info safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without asking my parent if it is okay.
  • I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.
  • I promise that I’ll do my best to follow our household rules for video games and internet use.

Kids, 13 years old and older

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas only at special times.
  • I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.
  • When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality non-violent TV shows and video games that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities. I promise to respect our household rules for video games and internet use.
  • I will do what I can to help out in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that help people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community.
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.
  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a  trusted adult so that we can attempt to find a way to help.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date. I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco-cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. I will also avoid the use of e-cigarettes.
  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.


Kansas News

TFI would like to welcome Ericka Jobe, LMSW as our new Foster Care Supervisor in the Wichita office. She will be supervising the foster care staff in the

Wichita and Garden City areas. Ericka comes to us with several years of experience in school settings, behavioral health and child welfare positions. Most recently Ericka worked for Kansas Children’s Services League in their Adopt Kansas Kids Program. Ericka and her family reside in Park City, Kansas. Ericka looks forward to getting to know the families we serve in her coverage areas by getting out to local offices and support meetings.


Kansas Care Provider of the Month

Congratulations to Kristopher and Becky Smilko. This amazing foster family has gone above and beyond to take care of a child who is medically fragile. Not only have they made sure to make it to all of the many medical appointments, they have accepted the sibling into their home to keep the children together. We appreciate the Smilkos so much! Well deserved January Kansas Care Provider of the Month.




Many times children get upset or even excited about something and it shifts them into not being regulated and they haven’t been given the tools to know how to self-regulate. Please click on the link and read the article to learn more about self regulation:

Additionally, listed below are a few activities that could be useful to help teach a child to control impulses and movements, emotional responses and actions, and practicing good sportsmanship.
1. Freeze Dance – Have a dance party with a small group of kids or family members and tell everyone that when you stop the music, they must hold very still. The first person to move is eliminated for the next round. The winner is the last one dancing.

2. Traffic lights – One kid plays traffic cop and turns to face a wall. The other kids start at the other side of the room—or if they’re outdoors, at a starting line. When the traffic cop shouts “Green!” the kids can advance. If the traffic cop shout “Red!” the kids have to stop, and the cop gets to turns around and see if everyone obeys. If they catch any kid still moving, they can send them back to the start line. The winner is the first person to cross the room (or yard) and tag the traffic cop.

3. Musical chairs – Set out enough chairs in a row, alternating facing front and back, for every player—minus one. Play music and have kids walk or dance around the chairs. When the music stops, they must make a beeline for the closest chair. Each round, the player who doesn’t manage to grab a seat is eliminated, until just one winning player remains.

4. Orchestra – Give kids percussion instruments to tap and wave and have them follow one kid at the front, who is playing conductor, with a baton in hand (a pen, ruler or stick will do). The conductor sets the tempo and everyone must speed up and slow down accordingly. Kids will learn to control their body movements to create a harmonious sound together.

5. Jenga – This stacking game requires a steady hand and careful planning of movements. The frustration of losing is softened by the fun of seeing the tower fall, so it’s an especially good one to use to help turn a sore loser into a good sport.

Please read the article and answer the following questions:

  1. True or False Children’s brains develop only through the process of co-regulation.
  2. What is the example used to describe a child’s brain that “DO, DO, DO?”
  3. What does a child need of self-regulating that has a history of toxic stress or complex trauma?
  4. If your child cant do well with self-regulating, what do they need more of?
  5. My child needs more           in order to be regulated enough to be OK.

If you want to learn about a few tips about trauma and to help regulate you can watch this short video.


Recruiting Moment

The TFI Recruitment Department would love to wish everyone a very happy 2020 ! Our goal is to make this year the best recruitment year for TFI we have ever seen. We have recently hired a Recruitment Supervisor out of our Wichita, KS. Please join me in welcoming Lisa McDaniel to our staff. Lisa comes to us with a wealth of knowledge in working with children and families and we look forward to what she can bring to our department. If you would like to reach Lisa, please email her at

Once again over the last year, 2019 showed us that our foster parents are our best resource for recruiting families. Overall, almost 40 percent of our new families referred and licensed by TFI came from YOU! Please make sure that you continue to be a part of our Ambassador Program and take advantage of the benefits with that program. Our recruiters across all the states we cover will be working with our new supervisor to include YOU, our foster parents, in more recruitment events this year. So, our challenge to you is for each foster family to recruit ONE new family in 2020. That is over 600 NEW families to care for our kids.

Good luck and happy recruiting!

TFI Anniversary

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

10 Years
Rene Appelhans
Lloyd & Ruth Jones

5 Years
Darin & Cherie “Jane” Dingus

1 Year
Matt & Teresa Newton
Joshua Murphy & Corey Sandy
Alex & Skyler Lightner
Bert & Jeannie White
Korby Lathrop
Andrew & Bailey Dickerson
Williams & Sherry Caldwell

Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, TFI can earn money and participating does NOT increase the price you pay for your purchases. Visit or click the picture above and select TFI to support youth in foster care.



Every time you make a purchase at Dillons, TFI can earn money. Please visit or click the picture above and select TFI as your nonprofit to support youth in foster care.