Yikes! Welcome to a new world, a new reality of virtual learning and man, it ain’t pretty. Most of us have kiddos heading back to school this month but in a totally new way: virtually. Not only do we have to be Mom, but we have to also take on some instructional roles. Ugh!
I don’t know about you, but I’m as anxious as they are for this new world to start. We are seeing more and more parents reaching out to us because their daughter is really struggling so we wanted to put together a list of things to look out for and when to know it’s time to call in an expert.
I’ve always said that kids don’t tell us how they feel, they SHOW us. With the increased rates of suicide this year due to the Pandemic and other world crisis’ happening right now, we think it’s more important than ever to take care of our children’s mental health.
Here are some things to look out for:
- What is her behavior telling you? Has she been acting differently lately? More cranky, less patient, more quiet, less herself? Has it been happening for at least 2 weeks? You know your daughter more than anyone so trust your intuition and really pay attention to how she’s been lately. Her actions will tell you all you need to know.
- Have her habits been disrupted? Is she not sleeping well? Is she going to bed in the wee hours of the morning and then sleeping all day? Is she not eating normally or eating more or less than usual? How is her hygiene?
- Is your daughter shy by nature? Is she terrified about how this online learning platform is going to go? Is she intimidated by the notion of all of her classmates being in the same room virtually where they can see her? Where she can see herself??
1. Practice is what will help here. What we mean by that is having her go on Zoom with a friend or a cousin, and practicing how to get on, how to un-mute the sound, turn on the video, etc. Show her how to make her face disappear from the screen is an idea as well, particularly if she can’t stop looking at herself and judging her appearance (even us grown women do this). If she feels comfortable about using the platform, this will decrease her levels of anxiety enough for her to at least join her class and get started.
If she has a project she has to present, also have her practice doing this over video until it’s time for her to present it. The more comfortable and familiar she is with the platform and how she can talk over video, the easier it will go.
2. Normalize what is going on. Don’t be afraid to commiserate with her that video learning is weird and uncomfortable in the beginning. Remind her though that it has its advantages and that you both are in this together. If she sees you modeling healthy adaptive behaviors to this virtual world, she will feel more at ease and be more willing to try new things. There’s a lot of comfort in being in the same boat together so use this to your advantage.
3. Talk about feelings more. Don’t be shy to use words such as anxiety, depression, fear, worry, etc. Speaking our feelings out loud helps take the powerful punch out of them so start now! Tell her specifically that you know things are hard right now, that you know she’s sad she can’t see her friends every day, that it feels isolating to always be at home. That maybe she’s irritated and angry that she’s stuck at home with her family all the time. Get it all out there! This gives your daughter permission to also share her feelings with you because she knows it won’t shock you and that you’re already aware of what could be happening. The last thing any child wants to do is disappoint us so if we’ve already opened the door to talk about our feelings, they’ll be more comfortable in doing so.
4. Know when to call in an expert. Once you realize this has gone beyond a brief stint of worry or sadness (past 2 weeks of consistently sad, anxious behaviors), it’s time to make an appointment with an expert. Once she’s paired with a girl expert who validates her feelings and gives her tools and coping skills to manage them, she’ll be on her way to healthy adaption and adjustment.
Right now, we need extra support and connection, more than ever. Our children are no exception; there is strength in reaching out and getting extra support for our daughters who may be struggling. We have girl experts on hand who are specially trained to connect with her and show her healthier ways to navigate this new world. Oh, and don’t forget, we’re here for you too! Schedule easily and online by clicking this link.
We’re ready to help you and your daughter feel more like yourselves!