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Social-Emotional Learning

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Dear John Ashley Students and Families,

I miss all of the John Ashley students dearly and am praying that this message finds you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy.  I understand that this is an extremely challenging time for you and your families and I want to remind you that we as a school community are here to support you and your children, even though we are not in school.  I want to share some simple tips for staying emotionally healthy and sane while staying home with your families.

  • Please, please give yourselves a break and refrain from attempting or feeling the need to do everything perfectly!  This is an unprecedented situation and you are doing a fantastic job as parents and students!

  • As best you can, attempt to create simple routines and structure to your children’s’ days -- I am not a proponent for a strict schedule at home (unless you feel that this is what your particular child needs) -- what I mean by this is to create a somewhat regular and predictable wake and bedtimes, meal times, and perhaps work, screen, and outdoor times as well. 

  • Remember to eat regular (as healthy as possible) meals and snacks (yourself and your children) and to drink plenty of water.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Attempt to get outside every day, as the weather allows.

  • Encourage daily exercise for your children -- even if this means running and dancing around the house -- if you do it with them that is a bonus!  There are many, many free online exercise and yoga classes for children if the weather forces you to stay indoors.

  • Yoga and mindfulness does wonders for everyone’s mental health -- I have listed some links for free classes and great apps.  If this is not for you, just going outside, disconnecting from screens, and playing with your children are all mindful activities that will make everyone feel better.

  • Remember to breathe.  This is an anxiety-provoking time for those who have never been anxious, which often causes us to forget to simply, breathe, which in turn, causes us to feel more anxious.  I am linking some simple breathing exercises.  

  • Keep the news and the amount of information about COVID-19 shared with young children to a minimum and developmentally appropriate (please see the article linked about how to talk to your kids about Coronavirus.  Remember that anxiety is contagious -- our kids are looking to us in order to gauge whether they should feel safe or anxious and worried -- even if you are anxious, refrain from talking about if with your children or with other adults when your children are in earshot.  Remember, if we are okay (even if we are faking it), our kids will be okay!

  • Practice gratitude daily.  Challenge yourselves and your children to remember what they are grateful for when they wake up, during times of stress and anxiety, and before bed.  

With love and gratitude,

Hannah Melendez, School Adjustment Counselor 

melendez@wsps.org