Phone: 845-691-1000 x 5430

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Masters in School Counseling, State University of New York at Buffalo

Mrs. Candia's Counseling Corner

 

Dear Highland Elementary Families,

I hope everyone is safe and well and trying to stay as positive as possible during these unprecedented and difficut times.  As we move through the changes that each day brings us, here are a few things to look out for that may be signs that your child may be feeling overly stressed.  Some typical signs of stress may include one or more of the following:  

- Frequent complaints of headache or stomach aches

- Disturbance in sleep or eating patterns

- Overly emotional (crying, temper tantrum)

- Over or non-typical clinginess

- Any atypical behaviors

- Anything that gives you a gut feeling something is off with your child

 

Some Tips for Supporting Children During the Coronavirus Crisis:

- Encourage an open disussion.  Explain what is happening in kid-friendly terms.

- Emphasize that Coronavirus is less common in children than adults and often results in mild cold symptoms.

- Listen to and acknowledge their worries.  Remind them that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe and healthy.

- Remember that our children are watching us and our reactions to this crisis.  Our behaviors and feelings mold and form their behaviors and feelings.

- Maintain a structure and routine at home.

- Get outside and play!  

- Teach and reinforce healthy coping strategies- breathing techniques, grounding, journaling, and drawing.

- View the extra time at home as a gift to spend quality family time.

- Aviod watching the news in front of your child/children.

- Read with your child.

- Focus on the many things you can control.

- Breathe, connect and take gentle care of yourself and others.

 

9 things to say to your child who may be feeling scared or worried:

1. I am here with you, you are safe.

2. Do you want to do some dancing or running to get rid of the worried energy?

3. Tell me about it.

4. What would you like to say to your worry?  What might your worry say back?  Then what?

5.  Let's draw it.

6. What does it feel like in your body?  Where do you feel the feeling in your body?  How big is the feeling?

7. Match your breathe to mine - try belly breathing (put your hand on your belly, breathe in for 3 seconds, feel your belly move out, and breathe out for 6 seconds, feel your belly move in)

8. Let's think of some endings for what could happen (anxious ones, goofy ones, AND realistic ones).

9. What's something we could do to help you feel better?

 

Here are 12 Home Activities that Build Social Emotional Skills:

1. Play board games

2. Go on a mindful walk

3. Write in a journal or diary

4. Practice coping skills, like mindful breathing

5. Read picture books

6. Coloring

7. Talk about characters' feelings in a movie

8. Start an acts of kindness challenge

9. Organize an area of the house together

10. Write a self-compliment list 

11. Use conversation starters to share ideas

12. Play games like "I Spy" and "Simon Says"

 

Please know you can reach out to me (kcandia@highland-k12.org) or the school social worker, Dawn Palmer (Dpalmer2@highland-k12.org), by email with questions or concerns specifically regarding your child.  Please be healthy, well and safe.

Sincerely,

Kristin Candia