Katie Tyler, K-4 Counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 383-1110
Rachel Petrasks, 5-8 Counselor, email@example.com, 383-1202
Prevention Tips for Parents
Children cope with stress in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Coping refers to what a person does in order to “get through” a stressful situation. The way people cope can be influenced by many things, including: age, past traumas, family support, and developmental level. Anger, crying, escape, play, use of fantasy, information seeking, taking a break are all forms of coping. There are things you can do to help your child build healthy coping strategies. For example, be aware of your child’s behaviors and emotions, encourage the expression of feelings, teach your child to problem solve, and model healthy coping techniques yourself. By helping your child build healthy coping strategies you are increasing their healthy relationship skills and decreasing the likelihood that they will hurt themselves or someone else when they are upset or stressed.
Empathy is the ability to feel or imagine another person’s emotional experience. The ability to empathize is an important part of social and emotional development. Empathy affects an individual’s behavior toward others and the quality of their relationships. Each time you help a child see how his/her behavior has affected someone else you nurture empathy development. Children can be taught to identify and name emotions in others by noticing facial expressions and body language and then to respond in healthy ways. Helping them identify and express their own feelings also builds empathy skills. Empathy helps people feel connected with one another and increases acceptance of differences.
Take an Active Role
Taking an active role in your child’s life is an important protective factor as children who feel connected to a trusted adult are at reduced risk for experiencing a wide range of negative outcomes. Even though children may sometimes act like they don’t care what their parents say, they still want your love, attention, and guidance. Talk to your children, and listen to what they have to say. Ask your child about the people they go to school with or play with. If your child is involved in sports, go to games and practices. Monitor their use of technology; this includes cell phones, social networking sites, and internet use. These actions send a message that you value, love and support your child.
For more information, please see www.pcavt.org