Our Social-Emotional Learning Team offers these strategies for helping your child through uncertain times. More information, examples, and tools can be found on our SEL for families page.
Normalize: You are not the only one experiencing what you’re feeling (ex: some children may be happy or excited, about this, some may be mad, frustrated, let down, etc.)
- You are not the only one feeling __________. Lots of young people are also feeling ________.
- All feelings matter, and it’s okay if you feel _________________.
- When I have felt ___________, some of the things that were helpful for me were….
Identify strengths: When listening to your child share their feelings, listen for areas of strength underlying their emotions.
- You sound really disappointed that you’re not yet at school in person. This tells me that you really love going to school, and that your relationships with your friends and teachers is really important to you, and this is great.
- You sound excited to continue learning remotely at home. This tells me that you feel super comfortable at home and learning with your family.
Validate and restate without judgement: This helps our children label and express their feelings, encourages emotional expression, and builds a strong emotional vocabulary.
- It sounds like you’re feeling ______________. Can you tell me more about that?
- Ask: how are you feeling? Why are you feeling this way?
Focus on what you can control: When difficult things happen that are out of our control, it is helpful to identify elements of our situation that we CAN control, and to focus our energy on these.
- Sometimes when hard things happen, we can feel powerless. Let’s identify a few things that we can control… what are you excited to continue doing that’s working?
- Is there a way that you’d like to express your feelings about this to someone? Can I help you write some things down, create something, or get your feelings out?
- When I have felt trapped, stuck, or limited in my choices, I chose to focus on _________________ and this helped me regain a sense of control over my options.
- You are going to be okay, we will get through this together.
- Lots of adults and students in our family, community, and schools care about you and are here to support you.