Jill Milton, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, MA, CAS
School contact during closure: 716 790 1048
(please check back soon for updates including you tube links to SEL, and Stay at Home Yoga!)
The 3 “Cs” needed for resilience:
1 caring trusted adult
A feeling of competence in any area – something they are very good at
A sense of confidence and control – knowing you can achieve your goals
In addition please note:
“Hope, optimism, motivation and empathy are the foundations of resilience.” – Dr. Sam Goldstein PhD
Home School Collaboration
It’s an attitude……
Parents and educators share common goals……
Are seen as equals…
Both contribute to the process…….
Parents become key resources to improve their own child’s education…….
It’s sustained by a mutual objective and a desire to improve conditions for the children……
And it’s never been more needed.
“Schools need to be aware of the fact that each home really has its own home curriculum”
Dr. Sandra Christenson, PhD
“The reality is parents who are supporting distance learning need to know their job as a parent is less about academics and more about creating safety, belonging and acceptance. In stressful times, children will be protected if they are connected.”
Dr. Rebecca Branstetter – PhD
“This is not a time for power struggles, it’s a time for collaboration “ – Ross Greene, PhD
Helping Children Cope with Changes from Covid 19
(adapted from National Association of School Psychologists)
Stay calm, Be re-assuring.
Children will notice and follow your reactions. Be aware that your discussions about Covid 19 can increase or decrease your child’s anxiety and fear. Remind them the adults are doing everything they can to keep them safe. Take time to listen. Be truthful and allow them to express their feelings by talking, writing, and drawing.
Explain safety measures including hand washing, using masks, and social distancing. These measures allow us to have some control over our own health and safety which reduces anxiety. They are in place to protect us as well as others.
Demonstrate deep breathing and mindfulness exercises with your children. These are valuable tools for calming the nervous system. Three minutes of this practice brings calming benefits for hours.
Demonstrate positive thinking as it is also a valuable tool to help with calming. Be kind to yourselves in your thoughts and actions. Offer your children love and affection. Avoid power struggles. This is a time for everyone to work together to solve problems.
Simplify routines. Creating daily schedules for adults and children may also be very useful. Model healthy coping mechanisms.
Maintaining good personal hygiene as well as good hygiene around the home is useful to maintain physical and mental health. In addition to healthy diet, good sleep hygiene and drinking water, EXERCISE is needed as well. Aerobic exercise for 20 minutes can do wonderful things for physical and mental health.
Helping others and staying connected to our loved ones are great ways to maintain mental health.
Monitor television viewing and social media. Watching continual updates on Covid 19 may increase anxiety. Give your children age appropriate and truthful answers to their questions. Correct any misinformation they may have and stay up to date on the facts. Please try to avoid watching, listening or talking about news that may be upsetting when your children are present.
Stay connected to the school – encourage your children to keep up with school work and school activities but don’t push if they seem overwhelmed. As their caretakers, please schedule in time for your own self. The physical, social, and emotional well being of our children and ourselves should be a priority at this time.
Be aware of your children’s mental health. Most children will manage well with support from parents and caring adults even if showing signs of some anxiety such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Some children may be more at risk for more intense reactions. Risk factors include a pre-existing mental health problem, prior traumatic experiences or abuse, family instability or loss of a loved one. Parents and caregivers should contact a professional if children exhibit significant changes in behavior or any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks:
Preschoolers – thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, regression in behavior, withdrawal.
Elementary school children – irritability, aggressiveness, clinginess, nightmares, school avoidance, poor concentration, withdrawal from activities and friends.
Adolescents – sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior and poor concentration.
Allegany Council on Alcoholism:
Science Based Stress Remedies (adapted from Yoga Journal 2013)
Smile Therapy – Breaking into a genuine smile – one that engages muscles around the mouth and eyes – can lower heart rate after a stressful event.
Be Here Now – Focusing on the present moment can significantly lower stress hormones.
In Good Company – Stress can be as contagious as the common cold. We pick up negative and positive attitudes from those around us. Choose good company while staying connected.
Dive In – Water is a mood enhancer. Showering and bathing. Visiting the ocean may be best however rivers lakes and streams are also calming.
Glee Club – As we learn to sing together, our heart beats synchronize and slow which has a calming effect on mind and body. Singing lowers levels of stress and anxiety.
I’m (more than) OK – Self affirmation can protect you against the negative effects of stress.