feelings: 3 Articles

The Gift of Gerbert’s Feathers

Serious illness in a family can cause many emotions like worry, fear, or sadness. Whether a child is experiencing the illness or a loved one is ill, children need the opportunity to talk about their feelings. The Gift of Gerbert's Feathers explores how a family supports young Gerbert, as he experiences a serious illness, and how Gerbert finds a way for his family to remember him when he's gone. Hear the authors read The Gift of Gerbert's Feathers aloud and see three activities related to feathers. Read two posts from the authors about helping siblings cope with grief and helping children with serious illness talk about their feelings. Read the Note to Parents and Caregivers from The Gift of Gerbert's Feathers, the Kids' Reading Guide, and access a feather coloring sheet.

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The Gift of Gerbert’s Feathers 2020-09-10T19:33:30-04:00

COVID-19 Self-Care: Get Moving

This summer, many kids and families find themselves without much anticipated camps, trips to the pool, or vacations. Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, children are missing their friends, mourning the loss summer adventures, and worrying about what form school will take in the fall.  While splashing at the pool or playing on a sports team might not be possible this summer, finding other ways to get moving can help improve your child’s mood. Physical activity, whether it’s dancing, walking the dog, gardening, or riding a bike, can provide some relief from anxiety and COVID-19 summertime blues. Magination Press offers books for young children and teens that encourage physical movement or exercise. Bee Calm: The Buzz on Yoga by Frank J. Sileo, PhD, illustrated by Claire Keay, introduces kids to beginning yoga poses such as Mountain, Chair, Airplane, Cobra, and more. A note to parents and caregivers provides suggestions for introducing children to yoga and instructions for the poses in the story. Ready to start feeling better? Move and groove your way into a better mood! Move Your Mood!  by Brenda S. Miles, PhD, and Colleen A. Patterson, MA, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown, invites kids to explore their emotions through movement and introduces the idea that moving our bodies affects the way we feel inside. A note to parents, caregivers, and teachers provides suggestions for how to use the book with your child, and additional ideas for teaching your child about emotions. These books for teens provide more comprehensive guides toward self-care: Depression: A Teen's Guide to Survive and Thrive by Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD, draws on Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help teens understand depression, and provides practical information on actions they can take to start feeling better. How to Feel Good: 20 Things Teens Can Do by Tricia Mangan, MA, offers strategies for teens to use to slow down and and pay attention to how they feel and what they think about themselves. Suggestions of "ways to be kind to your whole self" explore how caring for your physical body can improve your mood. Getting moving is a great way for kids and families to spend time together and feel better. If your child seems especially anxious or you are concerned about depression, please seek professional help. APA can help you find a psychologist near you, and during the pandemic, socially distant appointments are available.

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COVID-19 Self-Care: Get Moving 2020-07-16T11:47:49-04:00

Talking About Feelings With Children Experiencing Serious Illness

Having a child who is very ill is one of the most difficult challenges a parent can face. Handling day-to-day medical needs can be exhausting, but often helping the child with their emotional needs can feel most stressful of all. A child’s illness will impact the entire family. For children living with a serious illness or for those worried about someone with a serious illness, storybooks can be a starting point for discussion, a safe way to ask questions, express concerns or worries about the character, or talk about their own feelings or experiences. Magination Press picture book, The Gift of Gerbert’s Feathers, by Dr. Meaghann Weaver and Dr. Lori Wiener, provides families with an opportunity to explore how a child and his family navigate the feelings around serious illness and death. This excerpt from the book’s Guide for Parents and Caregivers provides guidance about how to engage in conversations about feelings with children experiencing serious illnesses themselves or in their families. Parents, Grandparents & Primary Caregivers Parents may want to talk about what is worrying their child the most, but are afraid if they ask too many questions, they could upset their child even more. Children may want to talk with their parents about what is worrying them, but they worry about causing their parents even more stress. Children often worry more about how their illness is impacting their parents and siblings than they worry about what is happening to themselves. In this situation: Children might talk to other important people in their life, such as a grandparent, about deep concerns before sharing them with their parent(s). This is very normal! What children need most of all is the same unconditional love and support parents and caregivers have always provided, without all the chaos of the hospital or medications. Reading a book together can provide a quiet and comforting opportunity to talk about what is happening. Other Special People Families come in all shapes and sizes, and there might be many people who play an important role in a child’s life. Sometimes children don’t want to worry their parents or aren’t sure how their parents will respond to their thoughtful questions, and so the child may inquire of others than directly to the parents.  Sharing a story, like The Gift of Gerbert’s Feathers, can foster communication, providing opportunities to ask the child questions about their thoughts or feelings. This may be the only time the child feels safe enough to ask or answer such weighty questions.  Make a connection to a character or situation in the story and ask the child how they feel about it. For example, “Why do you think Gerbert’s mother brings him blueberries when he wasn’t feeling well? What would bring you comfort?”  Likewise, situations in a story may allow you to share and explore your family’s beliefs about death. As a special person, you can bring the child’s questions, worries, and concerns back to the child’s parents to reduce the chance they will

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Talking About Feelings With Children Experiencing Serious Illness 2020-03-30T14:17:25-04:00