Managing Emotions

Managing Emotions video

A Few Tips on Managing Emotions

  • Foundational needs such of proper sleep, hydration, and if possible healthy snacks so there are no sugar highs are extremely important
  • Sensory input- be aware of children’s sensory needs, and that they are getting what they need to feel regulated. Younger children need more movement and breaks, but all children need some sort of exercise/movement. This can even be a walk around the block, or learning a dance from youtube
  • Relationship bonds are extremely important for self-regulation.
  • Make a list/menu of what helps each family member calm down when dysregulated/stressed/anxious/angry/etc. Preparing ahead of time allows for a quicker and easier bounce back, and makes everyone reflect on what works for them. Try different strategies with your child to help them figure out what works best.
  • If you notice yourself or a family member is starting to become dysregulated, be proactive and utilize a strategy before the feeling becomes too strong.
  • For parents it is important to also find things that help you feel calm and manage anxiety. When you understand your own feelings and learn to manage them, you learn to understand other people.

Daily Emotional Check Ins

Being aware of everyone’s social emotional state is extremely important right now. This video talks about how important it is to start the day off on a positive note, as how we start the day sets the tone for what our brain will be looking for the rest of the day, fear/anxiety or positivity. A morning “meeting,” afternoon check-in, and night time debrief are amazing ways to have family members share their feelings, what they are struggling with, discuss how they can make the next day better, and help add structure and predictability to the day.

Daily Check Ins video

Main Points:

Prime for Positive

  • When you start the brain on positivity, it makes you more open minded and better able to regulate your emotions during the day.
  • If you look at the news, social media, or something that causes anxiety early in the morning, reboot and find something positive to start the day positive.

Emotional Check In

  • Have a morning meeting with family members to see how everyone is feeling. This could be cuddled in bed, during breakfast, or however else works for your family.
  • When everyone is sharing their feelings, it is important to validate them. Everyone, especially now, needs to have their feelings heard.
  • Feelings check ins communicate that how everyone feels is important and normalizes feelings. Children can see that everyone is sad, mad, frustrated sometimes; share how you manage those feelings.
  • Review what is going on that day. Review/adjust the structure you have for the day.
  • If needed, have more emotional check ins during the day.
  • Younger children may need pictures/guides to identify what they are feeling.

Evening Debrief

  • At the end of the day and see how the day went. What does everyone need to change or keep the same for the next day? How can we make the next day better? What went well?
  • It is ok if the day did not go as planned, but make sure to adjust for the next day, and learn from mistakes!

Daily Structure

These resources explain and give great examples of why it is helpful to have a routine during this time. Making a schedule for everyday can be overwhelming, so it can be helpful to think of it as structure not a schedule. Not every day is going to be perfect and some  days there will be more lounging than others, but having some structure and expectations of what the day looks like typically decreases stress for children and adults. When there is no plan for the day or week, it can become chaotic quickly. Some of these articles were written before the current restrictions on social distancing, please keep that in mind when they mention playdates.

Keep Calm and Schedule on Video

School’s Out: A Parents’ Guide for Meeting the Challenge During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Main points from the video and article:

  • You do not need to recreate school
  • You need to create structure and routines
  • All children benefit from routines, even if they say they don’t
  • The amount of structure depends on your child
  • More needs=more structure
  • If you have to work from home, build your work time into the schedule as well so if you are unavailable during a period for work, your children will know the expectation for that time
  • Involve your child in the structure/schedule
  • Follow your childs needs
  • It is helpful to have sleep wake/bedtime schedule
  • During academic activities, younger children need a break about every 25 minutes. This could be as simple as jumping jacks, or GoNoodle dance videos on Youtube are fun!

Free NY Public Library Online

As we look to occupy our time at home in the coming weeks, it is important to try and be intentional and productive in how we spend our time. Reading is a great way to spend time that can be both relaxing, fun, and educational. Students or parents/guardians can read books on their own, or pick a book/books to read as a family! 

New York Public Library is currently allowing anyone in NEW YORK STATE to digitally rent books through the app “SimplyE.” The app can only be used on an iPhone/iPad or Android. See more specifics here for devices it works on. I encourage you to sign up now, as there are going to be many people signing up in the very near future!

A previous library card is not needed, you can sign up just by using the steps below. Parents must sign up for kids, as you need to be 13 or older, and enter your home address.

Steps to Sign Up

  1. Download “SimplyE” on an iPad/iPhone or Android
  2. Parents sign up for kids-Click 13 or Older
  3. Click Agree
  4. Location Services must be on while using app so it knows you are in NY State
  5. Enter Address
  6. Enter Name and email address
  7. Create Username and PIN
  8. Review Address
  9. Click Create library Card

To Find books: Search book titles or browse in subjects and areas! Some books may not be available right away (just like regular in the regular library). These will go in your “reservation,” and you should be notified in the app and by email when it is available for you to read. You can also filter searches so you only see currently available books. Each rental is in your “library” for 13 days.

Grounding Techniques

Grounding Techniques

Children often worry or struggle to gain control over their thoughts in the moment. Grounding techniques are a powerful tool to help kids connect to the here and now and interrupt spiraling worries.

Grounding Technique Cards