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Just me...checking in from the Counselor’s Corner (actually from my couch)

We know this is a stressful time for our families, our students, and our staff.  New uncertainties and changes in old routines leave us feeling worried and anxious.  Sometimes, we are unaware of the stress until we notice variations in our sleeping patterns, eating patterns, and patience level.  This is also true for our children who may not be able to identify what they are feeling. Here are a few ideas in order to work together to help our children through this time out of school.

As much as possible, STICK TO ROUTINES.  Children thrive with boundaries and routines.  By keeping things as close to normal as possible, children will understand their expectations, especially with school work and chores.

LIMIT NEWS CONSUMPTION.  It is easy to be pulled into the barrage of information and stories  surrounding Covid-19. This can be very stressful for our children because they may not understand all that they hear nor are they able to process what it means for them.  Exposure to news, radio, and social media should be monitored and restricted.  

BE OPEN AND HONEST when answering questions.  Clear and consise answers keep their mind from spiraling and creating anwers of their own.  Stick with the facts, and it is ok to say “I don’t know, but I will try to find out.”

 

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If you notice your child is anxious, ask him/her to show you a Calm Classroom breathing technique.  A simple and easy Controlled Breathing strategy begins by breathing in slowly for a count of 5 then slowly exhaling for a count of 7.  An additional grounding activity is to ask your child to name 5 things he/she can see, 4 things that can be heard, 3 things that can be smelled, 2 things that can be touched, and 1 thing that can be tasted. 

Other activities like drawing and journaling can be calming.  Equally effective is physical movement as it releases endorfins that combat stress.  

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Additional Resources 

Mind Yeti provides guided practice in mindfulness.  

 

ChildMind Institute - Talking to children about Coronavirus


KidsHealth - Talking to children about Covid-19

Supporting children who are worried about coronavirus

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Ms. Cira 
mecira@cps.edu






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Henry R. Clissold Elementary School · 2350 W 110th Pl · Chicago, IL 60643-3993 · USA

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