Mental Health Matters: April 2
Hello Ellis Families,
I hope each of you is doing well! As we continue to transition and adjust, I want to address the potential changes you might be seeing in your child’s behavior. Whether they are getting frustrated more easily or are clingier, you may be seeing a whole new side of your child. This is completely normal. Many children have been experiencing the same complex feelings as adults, but they don’t have the language to express themselves as well as we can.
Be patient with your children during this time, and with yourself. Help give them language for what they are experiencing by modeling. For example, share with them that you too feel frustrated about social distancing or school being out and then share a healthy way you are managing these emotions. In doing this you are helping your child learn about labeling emotions while also validating that it is okay to experience uncomfortable emotions. Additionally, you are laying the foundation for them to begin learning healthy coping skills.
I warmly invite you to join our Parent E-Gathering scheduled for the evening of April 8th from 8:00-8:30pm where we can collaboratively troubleshoot some of the challenges you may be facing as well as celebrate successes in a safe space.
Thank you and be well,
Rainbow breathing is an activity you can practice with your child and can do on your own, and it can help build breath-awareness. You and your child can work together to make a rainbow- whether you color one or make one from construction paper, you can then practice breathing together using your new creation. This time can also be used for reflection- what is something you hope for? What is something that brightens your day?
Talking to Your Child About COVID-19:
This amazing resource provides helpful information on how to manage the impacts of COVID 19 on you and your family. Definitely check out their article on how to discuss COVID 19 with your child in a developmentally appropriate way. It spans from infants to teens and has a lot of insight.
This wonderful E-book by Ana Gomez addresses how to manage our emotions about COVID 19 in an empowering way. With beautiful illustrations and tips for processing emotions that will be helpful long after this experience, this a great tool for talking to your kids about their current experiences. Also, check out our Vimeo webpage (vimeo.com/ellisteachers) where I have done a read aloud of the story.
Everyone needs space! Create a cozy corner at home for when you or your child are experiencing big emotions and need time yourself. Maybe it’s a pillow-fort or a tent made of sheets or just a really comfy chair, but help model using it for your child. Add art supplies or a lovey so they can nestle in and practice using coping skills. Perhaps they can use the space to practice rainbow breathing!
Mental Health and Parent Support
Parental Stress Line: 800-632-8188
Parental stress line counselors listen to your concerns and problem-solve with you. 24/7, free and confidential.
Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST Team): 800-981-4357
A mental health emergency hotline that crisis evaluation and treatment if you feel your child has become a danger to themselves or others in the home.