Parenting for Emotional Health

How to build back your child’s self-esteem at any age

Photo by Taisiia Stupak via Unsplash

Watching a child suffer from low self-esteem can be sad and frustrating for parents and caregivers. We all want to see our kids feeling good about themselves and their ability to take on new challenges. Self-esteem is important because it can heavily influence and motivate people’s decisions to take care of themselves and explore their full potential. In school, students with higher self-esteem are more open to learning and feedback, which helps them continue to acquire and master new skills. Children with low self-esteem often don’t believe themselves capable of achieving success, and therefore are less persistent and resilient in…

Parenting for Emotional Health

How to offer structure, guidance, and affection for long term emotional health

Positive Parenting
Positive Parenting
Photo by Humphrey Muleba via Unsplash

Co-authored by Juliana Tjornhom, EmotionalMUSE volunteer

The parent/child relationship is possibly the most complex there is. It’s existence is typically non-negotiable, and it requires consistent time and effort to maintain a healthy bond. Each parent/child relationship is made up of a unique combination of behaviors, feelings, and expectations that change and develop over time.

A child’s brain is continuously developing, especially in its early years.

“In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second,” says the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

As their earliest models for learned behavior, this…

Parenting For Emotional Health

Managing frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Janko Ferlič via Unsplash

My 11 year-old son is only ten days into the virtual school year and is already taking a sick day due to migraine. My 8 year old daughter has spent most of this week having sudden bouts of extreme sadness, anger, or fear with no obvious provocation; she herself seems bewildered at the wild swings of her emotions. She claims she is “in a bad mood because she just doesn’t feel like being in a good one.” …

COVID-19 Parenting

How to beat the “Back To School Blues”

Photo by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

Co-authored by Ariana Pokatilova, EmotionalMUSE Volunteer

“MOMMYSCHOOL,” by Deb Liu, released a cartoon entitled ‘Back To School Blues.’ The humorous graphic proclaimed fire and brimstone and doom for the 2020–2021 school year. When I saw this cartoon, I was struck by how much I related to every single one of the 10 bulleted items, based on our own family’s first week back to school.

This past week was essentially a series of timers set about 20 minutes apart to keep our three kids on track…three kids in three different schools with three entirely different schedules, despite being in the same…

Emotional Health

How to build trusting relationships at all levels of your school community

Photo by Shane Rounce via Unsplash

Every person in this country has in some way been affected by the compounding catastrophes that have come with COVID-19. We have all had to cope with some combination of school closures, physical health crises, mental and emotional health crises, grief, loss, trauma, changing routines, loss of relationships, loss of childcare, economic strain, and the awakening of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Local crises are made worse by the national pandemic; here in California, we are surrounded by wildfires that have evacuated tens of thousands of people, who often don’t know where to go to find safety from the layered…

Emotional Health

Why teenagers need to see their friends…and how to make that happen

Photo by Julie Ricard via Unsplash

Let me preface this entire article by saying that I take being in a pandemic very seriously. We conscientiously follow all of the recommended safety guidelines in our household (and even some lesser known ones, like closing the toilet bowl lid before flushing!). I am not recommending that we allow teenagers to attend a concert or go to parties. However, I am suggesting that teenagers should prioritize seeing friends as much as their family’s risk tolerance allows, and that digital socialization is simply not enough for the proper development of adolescent social skills. Parents and teachers, it is our job…

Emotional Health

Photo by Kat J via Unsplash

4 ways to teach to COVID-19's emotional health fallout

Across the country, millions of teachers are preparing for what will be the hardest year of teaching in modern history. Educators are dealing with stress, anxiety and fear from unrealistic public expectations and rapidly changing plans. While we work diligently to perfect our Zoom skills and transform curriculum into distance learning content, the nagging thought on almost every teacher’s mind is an entirely different one; a looming problem of epidemic proportions. Our country is entering one of the biggest mental health crises we have faced in decades.

Once we tackle the logistics of where our children will physically be as…

COVID-19 has us parenting, teaching, babysitting, and working all at the same time…an unsustainable situation

I am the last person you would ever expect to advocate for ‘lowering the bar.’ In recent personal history, I went back to graduate school full time while doing a full house renovation and undergoing intensive evaluations with my son on the autism spectrum. I thrive (in the short term) from burning the candle at both ends, though I know it is an unhealthy way to live long term.

When it became clear that this coronavirus was going to change life as we know it…

Quick, powerful tools you can implement at home during COVID19

These days, many of us are feeling restless and cooped up as we shelter in place during this pandemic. The list of emotions that come with Covid-19 are seemingly endless: foggy, sad, gloomy, anxious, scared, lonely, frustrated, angry, depressed…to name a few. The Red Cross says, “Children are especially at risk as they may become frightened…Their view of the world as a safe and predictable place is temporarily lost.” It can be hard as an adult to manage these overwhelming emotions…harder still when our children are melting down each…

How to keep your kids occupied without ever leaving the house

There is a lot of controversy about whether screen, technology or Internet “addiction” is an actual addiction. However, most experts agree that excessive screen time can be an indicator of mental health issues, and that too much screen time has negative consequences. These include increased anxiety and depression, reduced cognitive functioning, poor sleep quality, and trouble with emotional regulation. Here are some quick tips for reducing screen time during the coronavirus pandemic (and our resulting social isolation).

1. Set appropriate boundaries. Make it clear when screen time is…

Monica Gupta Mehta, M.Ed. (Educational Psychology)

Monica Gupta Mehta (@monicagmehta) is an educational psychologist, social and emotional learning teacher, parent, and ‘normalizer.’

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