Emotional Wellness

Learn:

 

  • The first step in ensuring mental & emotional wellness is breaking down the stigma and being comfortable discussing topics such as stress, anxiety, and depression. These topics are talked about more openly now than ever before, and more people are willing to seek help when needed, especially our youth. Our part as adults is to be informed about the issues that affect youth and be ready to help. Learn more at: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf

  • Mental & emotional wellness is the foundation for academic success, no matter the grade level. Studies show that students who participated in social-emotional programs showed increases of up to 17% in academic achievement.

  • Children cannot effectively learn or positively engage with others if they aren’t able to accurately identify their emotions and respond to them in appropriate ways. These concepts are now as much a part of our kids’ education as math, science, reading, or writing.

  • https://www.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PDF-4-the-positive-impact-of-social-and-emotional-learning-for-kindergarten-to-eighth-grade-students-executive-summary.pdf

  • A study done by KidsHealth found that “kids said they were stressed out the most by: grades, school, and homework (36%); family (32%); and friends, peers, gossip, and teasing (27%)”, but only 22% of these children talked to their family to deal with their stress (https://www.mhanational.org/healthy-mental-and-emotional-development)

  • 20% of youth ages 13 to 18 years old have a mental health condition (https://www.nami.org/nami/media/nami-media/infographics/children-mh-facts-nami.pdf).

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Ohio youth ages 10-14 years old and the 2nd leading cause of death for Ohioan’s ages 10-24 years old. Of those, nearly half were known to struggle with mental health issues https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/wcm/connect/gov/7f853eb4-9c94-4caf-9dc8-208d3bb92a7c/FS-Youth-Suicide-in-OhioFinal.pdfMOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_M1HGGIK0N0JO00QO9DDDDM3000-7f853eb4-9c94-4caf-9dc8-208d3bb92a7c-mkltZPB

Home:

 

The benefits of eating together as a family go beyond nutrition and are linked to children developing stronger resilience and higher self-esteem. It’s a chance to talk, understand each other, and find out what’s going on in your child’s life.
(https://www.childtrends.org/blog/connected-at-the-table-the-importance-of-family-
meals)


School:

 

Social-emotional learning is now a key component of Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, “Each Child, Our Future” with social-emotional learning standards for grades K-12. Students with strong SEL skills show improved behavior, positive attitudes toward
school, and higher academic achievement. It is important for parents to make social emotional learning an important topic for parent teacher conferences. Learn more about the importance of social emotional learning in your child’s education here:
https://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CSI-Frameworks.pdf

 

Ohio Each Child, Our Future: http://education.ohio.gov/About/EachChildOurFuture
 

Ohio SEL standards: http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Learning-in-
Ohio/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Social-and-Emotional-Learning-Standards/K-12-SEL-Standards-Full-Final.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US

 

Impact of Friends and Peer group:

 

The attitudes and behaviors of your child’s friends can impact on your child’s mental health. Staying informed about your child’s social group dynamics can be important to monitoring their well-being. One study notes that “the role of peers may be relevant to the risk behaviors, violence, well-being, health and
feelings about school, directly and indirectly.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777050/

Preventative Checkups:

 

Your child’s healthcare provider will ask questions that pertain
to resiliency, friendships, and overall health during preventative visits.
(https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/make-most-
your-childs-visit-doctor-ages-5-10#panel-2)


Take care of your own emotional wellness:

 

It is critical for parents to take care of their own emotional wellness to support their child. It is very similar to the analogy of putting on your oxygen mask first before putting one on your child.

 

Emotional Wellness
(https://speakupparents.org/blog/2021/3/17/how-to-monitor-and-address-your-childs-
mental-health-during-the-pandemic)

Recognize & Intervene

Recognize the early warning signs of stress or mental health issues:

  • Changes in behavior: Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, the level of interest in school, sports, and other activities, or a child’s ability to function can be signs of stress or mental health issues.

 

  • Changes in thinking: Children who are dealing with a mental health issue may say more negative things about themselves or others, have trouble concentrating, and have changes in school performance.

 

  • Changes in feelings: Kids may feel hopeless, unhappy, guilty, irritable, sad, angry, and may have reactions or feelings bigger than the situation warrants.

 

  • Neglecting responsibilities: Kids who are extremely stressed can become overwhelmed and unable to complete homework, chores or engage in after school activities.

 

 

Intervene:

  • Be Present: Start the conversation when your kids are most likely to talk such as during dinner, before bedtime, or in the car. When initiating the conversation start with what you have been thinking about rather than asking a yes or no question.

 

  • Actively Listen: Give your child your full attention especially when the child is talking about their concerns. Let them talk and avoid interrupting. Summarizing and reflecting back helps them feel heard and understood.

 

  • Respond Kindly: When expressing your opinion, don’t overreact and resist arguing or judging.

 

  • Consider: Pay attention to your kid’s conversations and activities to gain a sense of their feelings. Kids may show their stress and worry in their play.

 

  • Seek Help: You know your child best. If the child’s behavior is not typical and is concerning, seek advice from your healthcare provider or a mental health professional.

https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/talking

Support & Reach Out

Support:

  • Help children build strong and kind relationships: To build resilience it is important for your child to have strong relationships with friends and adults.

 

  • Help your children improve their self-esteem: Help your children set goals. Then recognize and praise their achievements academically and socially.

 

  • Listen and respect their feelings: Encourage your children to talk about their emotions and help them to express emotions in appropriate ways.

 

 

  • Model healthy coping strategies: Talk to your children about healthy coping strategies and role model them for your kids such as journaling, meditation/prayer, healthy eating, sleeping and exercise, and avoid negative outlets such as drugs and alcohol. (https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience)

 

Reach out: