Social Well Being
Ms. Penny, Mrs. Azzara, and Mrs. Johnson
Ms. Penny's Corner
Hello AGCS Families! Hope everyone is staying happy and healthy. Can you believe we have been home schooling for over 6 weeks! I can personally say my own children have been struggling with online learning. I have teenagers 16 and 19 and online learning has it's own set of issues for them. I listen to them many times with frustration in their voices and almost in tears trying to figuring out how to navigate online instruction which was not something they asked for or expected. It's been a struggle for them with way too many distractions with phones and video games. I never thought I would hear the words "I want to go back to school" come out of my sons mouth but, he has said it frequently. Even though things have been difficult at times many good things have come with the time we are spending together as a family. We have gone on walks and had nice conversations about high school and college, we sit down for dinner as a family, watch movies together, and play board games. This has been precious time that if we weren't stuck together in the house with nowhere to go probably wouldn't have happened. I have personally been reading a lot lately and came across a great article I have attached below it gives a little insight into what our kids are feeling right now.
Mrs. Azzara's Corner
Hello AGCS families! Congratulations, you made it to May! Take a minute to think about where you were two months ago and just how much your lives have changed since March. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come and how many challenges we worked through in a very short amount of time. Another thing to celebrate in May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The theme this year is “You are Not Alone.”
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans suffer from mental illness every year. NAMI is working to raise awareness about mental health. “Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.”
You are Not Alone
This year’s theme comes at a time that many people feel alone or disconnected from each other. NAMI belives that “Now more than ever before, it is important for the mental health community to come together and show the world that no one should ever feel alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness with the digital tools that make connection possible during a climate of physical distancing.”
For more information and resources on mental health, visit the NAMI website, www.nami.org, or call 800-950-NAMI.
Time To Go Outside
The weather is amazing right now not too hot or too cold! What better way to beat the boredom indoors then by getting outside for some fun activities! Below are several websites for scavenger hunts and sidewalk chalk fun! Enjoy!!
Mrs. Johnson's Corner
Congratulations to parents, loved ones and students for surviving week 8 of our school closure! You all have been doing double and triple duty these days. You are supporting your children with their schoolwork, taking care of your homes, working either at home or outside of the home as an essential worker. As these weeks go along, I want to remind you to please take care of yourselves and remember a few of these things from the Child Mind Institute to help you successfully manage your time at home with your children and loved ones throughout the rest of the quarantine. There are a few links included below for additional resources:
Keep routines in place
The experts all agree that setting and sticking to a regular schedule is key, even when you’re all at home all day. Kids should get up, eat and go to bed at their normal times. Consistency and structure are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, benefit from knowing what’s going to happen and when.
Be creative about new activities — and exercise
Incorporate new activities into your routine, like doing a puzzle or having family game time in the evening.
Manage your own anxiety
It’s completely understandable to be anxious right now (how could we not be?) but how we manage that anxiety has a big impact on our kids. Keeping your worries in check will help your whole family navigate this uncertain situation as easily as possible.
For those moments when you do catch yourself feeling anxious, try to avoid talking about your concerns within earshot of children. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and take a break. That could look like taking a shower or going outside or into another room and taking a few deep breaths.
Stay in touch virtually
Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children.
In the face of events that are scary and largely out of our control, it’s important to be proactive about what you can control. Making plans helps you visualize the near future. How can your kids have virtual play dates? What can your family do that would be fun outside? What are favorite foods you can cook during this time? Make lists that kids can add to. Seeing you problem solve in response to this crisis can be instructive and reassuring for kids.
Even better, assign kids tasks that will help them feel that they are part of the plan and making a valuable contribution to the family.
Check in with little kids
Young children may be oblivious to the facts of the situation, but they may still feel unsettled by the changes in routine, or pick up on the fact that people around them are worried and upset. Plan to check in with younger children periodically and give them the chance to process any worries they may be having. Children who are tantruming more than usual, being defiant or acting out may actually be feeling anxious. Pick a calm, undistracted time and gently ask how they’re feeling and make sure to respond to outbursts in a calm, consistent, comforting way.
Most importantly, remember to be reasonable and kind to yourself. We all want to be our best parenting selves as much as we can, but sometimes that best self is the one that says, “Go for it,” when a kid asks for more time on the iPad. Being the best parent we can be doesn’t mean always getting it “right” - just do the best that you can with what you have. #AGCS-STRONG