This past year has been challenging. Our children are showing resilience in ways that we never could have imagined before. This is just one of the strengths and skills that are beneficial for children and adolescents to be taught growing up. Mental strength is another skill that helps kids to become their best selves and keep going when life gets tough. This article describes seven things that mentally strong kids always do and what parents can do to teach these skills – empowering themselves, learning to adapt to change, setting boundaries and saying no, owning their mistakes, celebrating others’ successes, trying again when they fail, and persisting in difficulties. When reading through this list, these are skills that we all need, regardless of our age. Have fun going through some of these activities as a family and see how you can all support each other in building some mental strength, something we could all benefit from after this past year.
Screen-Free Activities: Technology is all around us and is particularly unavoidable in today’s life, whether that is with online schooling or as a means to connect with people that we are unable to see because of COVID. While there are many benefits to technology, it can take over at home and with our children’s lives if we are not careful and enforce limits. It is easy to turn to technology to quiet a kid down or to provide a quick relief to a conflict or tantrum. The tear off posters linked below provide 45 different activities for children to take part in instead of turning to technology. These activities encourage interaction, creative thinking, problem solving, and healthy brain development while also keeping your kids off screens. Let your child choose what activity they want to take part in and work all together as a family to see if you can complete all 45.
Praise Do’s and Don’ts: Unfortunately, it is much easier to come up with something that we, or someone else, is doing wrong or an area that we can improve. Criticism is all around us. The power of praise, especially from parents to their child(ren), is huge. Praise nurtures your child’s confidence and helps your child to think and talk positively about themselves. It helps builds a child’s sense of self and shows them how to recognize when they do something well. This is needed in all aspects of life. The handout below gives simple Do’s and Don’ts for praise. See how you can incorporate this at home and the impact that it has on you, your child(ren) and your family as a whole. Just like a smile can be contagious, so can praise – and we all need some more positivity.
Problem-Solving Skills: Problem solving is a skill that everyone can agree is important and essential to be successful in life. We can all see that for sure in our own workplaces. Effective problem-solving skills result in happier, more confident, more independent, and more resilient individuals. When children are able to learn how to solve their own problems, or with a group, they are able to gain essentials skills and feel better about themselves. This will help them to learn how to look at challenges from a fresh perspective and gain the growth mindset needed to keep trying when life gets difficult. Use the below image to see suggestions on how to teach these important problem-solving skills by age. Get creative!
1/8/2021: Hello student families! There is an upcoming Glenbard Parent Series on anxiety and adolescence. It is called “Parenting in the New Age of Anxiety: Understanding Your Child’s Stressed, Depressed and Amazing Adolescence.” We hope these sessions may be of benefit for you or someone you know. Please click on the button below to see the line up and reserve your space:
12/18/20: Families, the file below has so many wonderful resources to use in helping our kids calm down and remain engaged, along with family fun and activities to enjoy over the Christmas break. See you in 2021!
10/26/20: This year has had many ups and downs for all of us and many unprecedented moments. COVID has limited so many of the interactions that we all need to feel loved, appreciated and connected. Please consider taking this 30 day challenge as a family, beginning Sunday, November 1st and incorporate fun and healthy social-emotional learning together. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share some of your favorite moments. We hope this brings about lots of laughter and love.
10/1/20: We can all agree that this school year looks quite different than all school years in the past. With all of these changes, we, at Saint Isidore, have been putting even more of an emphasis on the social-emotional development of students and how we can support each other. What this has looked like this year, is frequent check ins with students from their teachers on how they are feeling during the day. Students are being provided with the opportunity to check in with themselves as well and are being encouraged to notice how their mood is affecting their behaviors. The social worker has been in the classrooms doing social-emotional lessons and activities. Some of the topics have included discussions on emotion recognition and labeling, social distance greetings, emotions charades, bullying, organization, the importance of breakfast and a good nights sleep, and games to promote self-control and self-regulation. We recognize that the emotional health of a student is directly impacted by the emotional health of a family and vice versa. With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with a list of mental health resources below. We will continue to provide you with updates here on what is going on in the school and things that you can be doing at home to continue to develop healthy emotional awareness for all.