In 2020, the “new” normal consisted of online school, Google classroom, face masks, physical distancing, COVID-19 screening questions, and cancelled gatherings. However, our team: Melissa Perryman, OCT and Lisa McGregor, OCT presented to parents, caregivers and guardians (even our grandparents) navigate these experiences and enhance their family’s wellness.
As parents, it is easy to forget the importance of caring for yourself and remaining healthy. Check in with your emotions. As a family, be creative. Make space to create with your family, whether it’s a family art drawing to “hanging” out in Avatar world. Practice mindfulness to help refresh, rejuvenate and relax. Check in & Assess your wellness.
Assess your stress levels
A stress burnout scale helps you to identify the sources of your stress and the levels of your stress. Higher scores can indicate that it is time to slow down. Average and lower scores indicate that you need more balance in your life, and burnout will come soon. Take a minute to rate yourself.
- I feel like that I am achieving less than I should.
- I have physical symptoms of stress, eg insomnia, stomach pains, headaches, migraines?
- I feel my memory unreliable.
- I am more susceptible to illness lately, eg colds, ‘flu, food allergies, hay fever.
- It is hard to enjoy myself, have fun, relax and experience joy .
- I feel run down and drained of physical or emotional energy.
- I have negative thoughts.
- I am harder and less sympathetic with people than perhaps they deserve.
- I am easily irritated by small problems
- I feel misunderstood or unappreciated.
- I feel that I have no one to talk to
Twenty percent of Black Americans are more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.ADAA
Enhancing your wellness strategies
Regardless of the your outcome with the Stress Burnout Indicators, it is important to engage in healthy strategies for wellness. This can support your family and yourself live quality life experiences, and navigating challenges which may occur in your lives.
Not feeling like you?
Strategies for wellness
- Move your body: walk, exercise, stretch, dance, yoga
- Talk to your medical professional
- Read a new or favourite book
- Watch an inspiring or favourite childhood movie
- Do something special for someone
- Reconnect with an old friend or relative
- Write letters or cards to distant friends and family
- Make a wish list of hopes and dreams
Building your child’s resiliency
Black students do experience anti-Black racism in Ontario schools. This is demonstrated in the curriculum which fails to include Black experiences and contributions past, present and future. In the lack of teachers that represent the Black community, and teachers who have grounded training in equity, implicit bias, systemic racism, and oppression. As parents, it is important you remain active and involved in your child’s education experience. Recognizing and identifying when your child is being treated unfairly, and creating space for your child to discuss and express their experiences will help empower them to successful combat racism. Promoting your child’s resiliency in the classroom will help to create a safe learning environment that will keep your child engaged.
For black children and adolescents to develop into individuals actively engaged in optimal personal development, they must be placed “at promise” as opposed to “at risk”….in order to become contributing members of their families, schools, communities and the broader society.APA
SKILLS FOR SUCCESS 5 THINGS EDUCATOR NEED TO KNOW…
Make sure curriculum materials are inclusive
Make sure the curriculum positively represent Black people
Seek feedback from black students and families
Believe Black students, especially when they raise concerns to you
Talk about racism on a continuous basis
Build relationships with black students and families, become an accomplice for change
Grandparents! It always takes a village. See our tips for supporting your grandchildren and your village to become successful. Be mindful that your words are power. You are in an unique piece in the village, and can create change through unconditional love, admiration, and adoration to your children.
Nurturing your Village Tips and Strategies:
- Connect with classroom teacher
- Be a supportive adult for the students
- Take a class/familiar with technology
- Ask the student for help and tech support
- Have a open mind and know that you are learning
- Reach out to your community (Church, Public Library etc…
- Talk to other adults
- You are not alone!
Listen in on: Navigating the New Normal: A Guide for Parents
Listen in on our inaugural Kujenga Wellness Project workshop designed to support parents, caregivers and guardians support their child and youth in school.