Emotions and Behavior, Part I

Here are a few resources to address emotional and behavioral challenges, whether they are newly emerging or newly intensifying.

Above all else, two factors inevitably dysregulate even the most even-tempered child (or adult):

  1. Unexpected change and uncertainty
  2. Parent stress levels

Our lives are full to the brim of these two factors right now.  This post offers support for both. 

Talking to Your Child about Corona-Times (even if you’re uncertain yourself!)

Words are power.  When we can explain what is happening, it gives a sense of control, and anchors children in their own agency.  Below are some specific resources to give you the words to talk to your children about what is happening in the outside world, and what they might be experiencing on the inside. 

Helping Children to Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19 offers an overview of important guidance for talking to kids about what is happening, published by the National Association of School Psychologists.

The Corona Virus and Me: Ana Gomez, a child therapist, created a book to help kids empower kids to stay safe and calm in the face of the Corona virus.  Here is the PDF version, and here is the YouTube version.  Best for K-5.

Check out this comic from NPR explaining the Corona Virus.  Best for older elementary or middle school.

For teens, the Child Mind Institute and the New York Times offer specific recommendations for support.

Also for teens and young adults, it may be helpful to name some of the more complex feelings they are experiencing.  This article explains our collective uneasiness within the stages of grief, and can provide a helpful structure for talking about unique difficulties during this time. 

Reducing Parental Stress (so our kids don’t absorb it, too)

This quote from another psychologist wisely offers permission to lower your expectations, focus on connection, and forgive yourself for not being able to do the entirely impossible things being asked of us right now.  It is the best summary I’ve found of why it’s just so darn hard, and a little permission to give yourself a break. 

The Child Mind Institute wrote this short article with a few things to keep in mind to keep your mind.

For advice from the experts on childhood, click here.  🙂  Following the parent self-care video, you will also find a series of self-care videos for very young children from your friends at Sesame Street.

Please keep an eye out for the next email with specific tools for social-emotional learning and behavioral support at home.

Also, if things are simply beyond challenging, please feel free to contact me directly about parent support and coaching. 

Let me know if you have any questions!

This post was created to support families through COVID-19.  If you have more questions related to working with your children at home, please let me know by sending me an email or commenting on this post!

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