Sitler: As school returns, help ensure kids have good mental health

The new school year is upon us! Remember the drama of school and how hard it could be? And that was before the internet!

Raising a child today is hard, it doesn’t come with a manual and often, we feel like we are winging it. We know children today are dealing with some heavy stuff – cyber-bullying, body shaming, community violence, abuse, neglect, unstable home lives, drug exposure, sexual orientation, and more. Youth can be moody, hard to read and don’t always want to talk.

Emotions are a basic part of the human experience, but sometimes we struggle with how to deal with them effectively. Children aren’t any different. Young people are dealing with real problems and complicated emotions. Sometimes they act out in school or at home because they have yet to learn good coping skills. How can parents work with their children to help them process their emotions appropriately and better understand what’s going on? While we can’t completely shield our children from all the stressful or traumatic situations they may face, we can help them learn to manage their emotions and reactions in ways that cultivate resilience. Equipping them with appropriate coping skills for when they struggle with emotions leads to better mental and physical health in adulthood.

The new school year is upon us! Remember the drama of school and how hard it could be? And that was before the internet!

Raising a child today is hard, it doesn’t come with a manual and often, we feel like we are winging it. We know children today are dealing with some heavy stuff – cyber-bullying, body shaming, community violence, abuse, neglect, unstable home lives, drug exposure, sexual orientation, and more. Youth can be moody, hard to read and don’t always want to talk.

Emotions are a basic part of the human experience, but sometimes we struggle with how to deal with them effectively. Children aren’t any different. Young people are dealing with real problems and complicated emotions. Sometimes they act out in school or at home because they have yet to learn good coping skills. How can parents work with their children to help them process their emotions appropriately and better understand what’s going on? While we can’t completely shield our children from all the stressful or traumatic situations they may face, we can help them learn to manage their emotions and reactions in ways that cultivate resilience. Equipping them with appropriate coping skills for when they struggle with emotions leads to better mental and physical health in adulthood.

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Christin Peña

Christin Peña is the Youth Self Advocacy Coordinator and YES Club Activities Coordinator. She has worked in many areas of…

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