mindfulness: 4 Articles

Build Your Library: COVID-19 Resources

Parents need all kinds of resources to raise their children. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an entirely new set of challenges for parents and kids alike. Disruption of schooling and work, isolation from friends and family, and necessary hygiene and social distancing measures have changed the way we live, play, gather, and travel. Magination Press created its Build Your Library Collection to provide resources to families as their children head back to school. These books address the specific challenges posed by the pandemic. If you need to help a young child understand the pandemic, read A Kid's Guide to Coronavirus by Rebecca Growe MSW, LCSW, and Julia Martin Burch PhD. This free picture book explains the virus, how it spreads, and what kids can do to help keep themselves and others safe. It also has a Note to Parents and Caregivers offering strategies to help children navigate anxiety they may feel about the pandemic. Download your free print copy, here, and here's the Kindle version. It's also available in Spanish and in Portuguese. Here's the Spanish Kindle version, too. The Portuguese Kindle version is on the way. Hear A Kid's Guide to Coronavirus read aloud. If your tween or teen is feeling the strain of distance learning, separation from friends and family, and cancellation of sports, arts, and other activities, Unstuck! 10 Things to Do to Stay Safe and Sane During the Pandemic by Bonnie Zucker, PsyD, can help. This activity book has journal prompts and activities designed to help older kids manage stress and anxiety, cultivate gratitude and creativity, and express their emotions. Download a free print copy here.  Here's the Kindle version. A Spanish version is in the works. Hear Unstuck! 10 Things to Do to Stay Safe and Sane During the Pandemic read aloud. If you or your child are working on building resilience, The Hugging Tree by Jill Neimark, is a wonderful choice. From March to May 2020, people around the world shared this beautiful picture book about a little tree growing in very harsh conditions because of its message of kindness, compassion, and resilience. Read Ms. Neimark's article about the internet read-aloud phenomenon. Hear The Hugging Tree read aloud.  Your child and your family may be experiencing new stresses and anxieties as a result of the pandemic. Magination Press has titles about stress, anxiety, and mindfulness that can help. Since mid-March, Magination Press Family has posted frequent articles about how to support your child in this challenging time, featuring appropriate books. Managing Sibling Conflict Fostering Resilience Fostering Mindfulness Writing and Doodling to Express Emotions Exploring Feelings with Mindfulness Building Life Skills During the Pandemic Explore Emotions and Relationships with The Find Out Files Increase Optimistic Thinking at Home or at School with Evidence-based Curriculum COVID-19 Self-Care: Get Moving Tips to Help Your Socially Anxious Child Stay Engaged During COVID-19 Kids Feeling Stressed? Help Them Learn Self-Care Skills To help you build your family library, through October 31, 2020, get 25% off your purchase and free shipping when

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Build Your Library: COVID-19 Resources 2020-09-16T11:51:18-04:00

COVID-19: Strategies to Support Your Young Child and Yourself

We're months into the COVID-19 pandemic now, and it looks like the concerns, complications, and uncertainty it has created will be with us for a while. As we head into the fall, children, parents, and caregivers alike are suffering from a kind of pandemic fatigue. Caring for our children and ourselves has taken on a new dimension, and we all could use some strategies to handle these ongoing stressors. In May, Magination Press published two free resources to support kids during the pandemic: A Kid's Guide to Coronavirus, by Rebecca Growe, MSW, LCSW, and  Julia Martin Burch, PhD, created for kids ages 3-8, (now also available in Spanish) and Unstuck! 10 Things to Do to Stay Safe and Sane During the Pandemic, by Bonnie Zucker, for kids ages 13-18. Both have a note at the end, providing specific strategies for coping with the anxiety, uncertainty, disappointment, and emotional roller coaster created by the pandemic. This excerpt from A Kid's Guide to Coronavirus Note to Parents and Caregivers provides six tips for parents to help themselves and their young children through this challenging time. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for children and adults alike. Yet within great challenges lie opportunities for growth, bravery, and resilience. Provide Just Enough Information Strike a balance between oversharing information, which may lead kids to worry about aspects of the crisis they need not be worried about like the economy, and under-sharing. Too little information can send active imaginations into overdrive. Provide your child with limited, age-appropriate facts about the virus. Focus on what they can do to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe, like wearing a mask and washing hands. Validate and Name Emotions It's normal for children to have a range of emotions in response to the pandemic: anxiety, fear, or anger, for example. No matter the emotion, it is important to validate it—to communicate to your child that their emotion makes sense and is okay for them to feel. For example, "I can understand why you're feeling worried. There are a lot of changes happening right now." It is also helpful to label the emotion your child is feeling; research demonstrates that naming an emotion decreases its intensity. In a difficult moment, taking the time to say, "I see that you are really sad" can be incredibly soothing to your child. Focus on the Present Moment Worried brains tend to focus on the future, predicting all of the scary things that might happen. Teach your child how to gently bring their mind back to the present moment by practicing mindfulness. Being mindful simply means that you are purposefully paying attention to the present moment without judging it as good or bad. Try playing a mindful "I Spy" in which you count all of the objects of a certain color in the space around you. You can mindfully eat, dance, walk, listen to music—the sky is the limit! Create a New Routine Flexibly following a consistent plan day-to-day provides

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COVID-19: Strategies to Support Your Young Child and Yourself 2020-08-14T16:04:11-04:00

Helping Young Children Cope With Sadness

Of all the many human emotions, sadness can be one of the most difficult to manage. It occurs at many levels and in many different ways: it can be as simple as disappointment or as complex as grief and depression. Commonly identified as one of the primary or core emotions, sadness is also one of the first to develop and can be experienced very early in life. Magination Press book, A Feel Better Book For Little Tears by Holly Brochmann and Leah Bowen, is a beginner’s book that addresses the overall concept of sadness. It also provides parents and caregivers tools not only to help children process and cope with this difficult emotion, but to convey that it is normal--everyone feels sad sometimes.  Here are some ways you can help your child understand and cope with sadness: Responding to Sadness Sadness can be felt, and expressed, in a variety of physical ways. Tears are the most obvious indications of sadness, but children may manifest sadness in other ways like anger, isolation, clinginess, or stomach ache. A child may be unable to communicate or even recognize some of these physical manifestations.  As a parent, first take note of changes in behavior that may demonstrate the less obvious reactions. Then you can help them connect those reactions to the sadness with verbal cues.  For example, if your child is being extra clingy, you can simply acknowledge their feelings by saying, “I know it makes you sad when Mommy can’t be with  you all the time.” Children can be sad for so many reasons, some of which may be significant to others, while others may seem miniscule or even ridiculous. It’s important to remember that while the child’s feelings may appear insignificant to you as an adult, they are quite the opposite from the child’s perspective. Bear in mind age-appropriate sadness and respond with both empathy and sympathy rather than trivializing your child’s feelings. “I’m so sorry you can’t wear your monster shirt today. I know it’s your favorite and you are sad when it isn’t clean. I understand how you feel, because I feel sad when that happens to me, too.”  Normalizing Sadness One of the most important messages you can convey to your child during times of sadness is that you are there for them. Sadness can be a lonely emotion, especially if experiencing something very personal and individual. It helps to have support from someone who knows what you are going through.  If your child loses their favorite stuffed animal, for example, listen to them, however often they want to talk about it. Storytelling in this way may be their way to process their feelings. You may also normalize their feelings by sharing a story about how you experienced a similar loss when you were their age. Be honest about how sad you were and how you cried. Talk about what helped you with your sad feelings. In the meantime, let your child know you will be there for

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Helping Young Children Cope With Sadness 2019-08-02T10:42:19-04:00