Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Amazing Mental Health Team with Holiday Tips for Families

The PGO hosted Interim Principal Diane Chamberlain and the Fort River Mental Health Team last Friday at our regular PGO Coffee. The presentation was FABULOUS and covered many topics of use to every family. We will share notes and slides from this wonderful session in the near future but in the meantime are reposting the holiday tips that they shared in the November FR Principal Newsletter.

The holidays can be a stressful time for not only adults, but for children as well. While one child may experience joy and excitement during this time, another may struggle with anxiety or overwhelming feelings related to meeting new people (guests), seeing new decorations in the house or constantly changing routines. Most adults can manage and adjust to these changes successfully but many children can’t. For these children new people, things and environment can bring confusion, shyness and even fear.

To avoid this inevitable overwhelming time for some children during these holidays, it is important for parents to talk to children about future guests who may visit the house, food that will be cooked or ordered, and any new surroundings. These conversations will help children to learn what is coming in advance, and help them to prepare mentally and physically to upcoming changes. Parents should also remember that children learn and develop in the context of a relationship. They can pick up on parents’ impatience and anxiety. So, becoming aware of your own feelings is important. Offering choices, empowering and providing positive support are essential tools in the parent’s pocket to use while spending time with kids during holidays.

Mental Health Team:   Dr. Patricia Schumm, Jessica Rudnick, Melanie Collins, Ana Encarnacion, Miguel Aquino, Ruth Killough-Hill