Mental Health Tools For Your Kids As The Virtual School Year Begins
Just like you, your kids are impacted by change and uncertainty.
As a parent, you play a big part in your kids’ healthy mental development.
Through consistency and dedication, your kids can develop self-confidence, good self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life despite the pandemic.
Below you’ll find established therapy groups that you can contact and steps you should take to nurture mental health at home.
start telehealth meetings
Established occupational therapy groups are easily accessible through virtual meetings. When possible, some offer a safe in-person meeting.
Most groups also provide free, online resources that teach you how to handle stressful situations in the home, especially during this pandemic.
An Independent, national nonprofit that strives for effective clinical care and an improved understanding of the developing brain.
They offer telehealth evaluations and treatment for ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and learning disorders.
Not only are children supported but so are you! Your own mental health is important if you want to care for the little ones, so Child Mind has blogged about managing frustration and parenting disagreements during COVID.
They also provide helpful PDFs on topics such as how to identify signs of mental health problems during the pandemic.
A Los Angeles local, all-female team of experienced therapists who approach children with respect and understanding while encouraging them to stretch outside of their comfort zone.
They offer services ranging from occupational therapy sessions to various sensory disorder interventions. Individualized parenting support is available when you’re just not sure how to interact with your child.
A midsized company that specialized in online counseling even before the pandemic hit, Synergy offers free consultations to help you decide whether online therapy is right for your family.
They focus their online counseling on depression, anxiety, couples, college students, and teens/ adolescents.
So if you have a teen, Synergy might be the best option for you.
Amwell has web-based and mobile apps so you can easily connect to board-certified doctors 24 hours a day using your phone, tablet, or computer.
They offer services ranging from therapy to pediatrics.
Backed by top technology and healthcare investors, Doctor on Demand provides a team of experienced, licensed psychiatrists and therapists available beyond regular business hours.
To help you decide what kind of support you or your children need, you can take their quick, free assessment tool to uncover symptoms of potential mental health problems.
6. Independent Consulting Services
Small, independent therapy groups have formed in response to learning pods’ need for counseling support.
Recently on the Facebook page, Pandemic Pod - Main, a therapist posted the below flyer advertising services available for homeschools and pods.
If you’re interested, the contact information is at the bottom of the flyer!
support mental health at home
If paying for outside services is not an option, you should devote time and effort to support mental health in the home.
You’ll reduce your kids’ distress while keeping them mentally strong and active.
An added bonus is that you’ll also reinforce the strong bond between parent and child.
1. Establish a routine
Kids function well with a schedule, so establish a consistent structure in their lives.
Set time aside for schoolwork, chores, play, etc.
In contrast to the unknown of the outside pandemic, the known schedule within homes feels safe and “normal.”
2. Find safe ways to socialize
Interacting with peers is essential for healthy emotional and social development.
If you safely can, organize physical playdates with other families.
Otherwise, schedule an online lunch call for the kids to interact. Virtual hangouts might still be awkward but they go a long way for kids who miss their friends.
3. Help them set goals
Occupy your kids by establishing healthy goals together. Maybe it’s learning to play the keyboard or riding a bike.
Then, help them build a routine to reach those goals, such as practicing 20 minutes, 5 days a week.
Instead of spending excess free time lonely and bored, kids will have a goal to achieve.
4. Praise often
Frequent praise shows love and appreciation for both children and their interests.
You help children build self-esteem, so they feel confident about themselves and pursuing what they enjoy.
5. Listen and respect their feelings
Kids also feel stressed by school closures and quarantine, so encourage them to talk about how they feel.
Take mealtimes to keep communication flowing by asking questions and listening well.
Not everyone will share their feelings right away, so always maintain an open and friendly atmosphere that gives them space whenever they’re ready.
You won’t be able to incorporate all these methods right away and that’s okay. You can simply start a few to begin the journey of supporting your kids’ mental health.
The important part is being consistent.
School closures and quarantining have impacted them, but so can you.
What you do as a parent goes a long way for your kids!