Social, Emotional and Mental Well Being Amidst the Pandemic - Institute for Educational Advancement

Social, Emotional and Mental Well Being Amidst the Pandemic

By Anvi Kevany

It has been a year since the pandemic caused havoc, chaos and culminating to eventual acceptance that this will be our norm for now, full of anxiety and stress. Most children and families have adjusted to our pandemic norm, from online learning, zoom meetings, parents/guardians turning into homeschool teachers whilst working from home, and having to adhere to safety protocols on a daily basis, whether taking a walk outside your neighborhood, or going into the grocery store.

Because of such added stress and anxiety, parents and children need some type of support, activity or other types of de-stressors to be able to cope.

Below are some articles, podcasts, reading materials to help parents and their children on how to cope and maintain a healthier social, emotional and mental well being: from tuning in to funny and silly podcasts to alleviate or ease the tension and sadness, to hearing and learning how children can be supported emotionally. These resources are found on our Gifted Resource Center webpage.

Raising Life Long Learners

This is a podcast about raising kids who love learning. Listen to how others help inspire kids to view their world with play, passion and fascination. Podcasts such as WHY SELF-CARE IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR CHILDREN TOO talks about self-care and that parents must take care of themselves in order to take care of their children. But what about our kids, especially those who are gifted and twice exceptional? How do we help them learn coping skills and emotional regulation? How do we help them identify what they need to take care of their own bodies and souls?

The Deep End

The Deep End is a blog written by Stephanie Tolan, which she hopes will help create a space to discuss the needs and challenges of being a gifted child. A recent blog post “Wellbeing – A No Limits Approach”, talks about what does wellbeing mean to children with non-ordinary minds and non-ordinary needs, and more than that—children living, suddenly, like the rest of us, in utterly non-ordinary times

The Fringy Bit

The Fringy Bit is a website started by the parents of three “fringy” kids. They use this term to describe children who are gifted and those who experience other forms of neuro-diversity. Through their website, they have created a blog and podcast, focusing on creating a community for the parents of gifted children. Heather Boorman has a background in clinical social work, and her husband Jonathan is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Enjoy their bonus podcast episodes on “Quarantine Quips”, that include short episodes talking about strategies, support, silliness and whatever else comes of Heather and Jon’s mouths and minds.

“The Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build Confidence”

Help your gifted child embrace their uniqueness. In this workbook, a therapist offers fun activities and strategies to help children ages 7 to 12 boost self-confidence, reduce stress and overwhelm, and balance emotions.

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings

Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting and teaching gifted children, “Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings” provides the resource parents and teachers need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach gifted children how to live with their intensity.

Living the Life Fantastic

This blog provides resources for gifted children who struggle with anxiety. In addition to posts and discussions specific to giftedness and anxiety, the site also offers a purchasable “Taking Time for Me” journal to help children manage their anxiety through mindfulness and gratitude.

Tilt Parenting

TiLT Parenting was founded in 2016 by Debbie Reber as a podcast and community aimed at helping parents raising differently-wired kids do so from a place of confidence, connection, and joy. Debbie is passionate about the idea that being differently wired isn’t a deficit —it’s a difference. She hopes to change the way difference is perceived and experienced in the world so these exceptional kids, and the parents raising them, can thrive in their schools, in their families, and in their lives. Check out the podcast with Dr. Michele Borba on “How to Help Kids Thrive in an Anxious World”.

Understood

Understood is dedicated to shaping a world where millions of people who learn and think differently can thrive at home, at school, and at work. Several featured resources are available such as “How to help your child manage a fear, 6 signs your child is resilient”.

Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help

This book by Allison Edwards guides readers through the mental and emotional process of where children’s fears come from and why they are so hard to move past. Edwards focuses on how to parent a child who is both smart and anxious. She brings her years of experience as a therapist to offer fifteen specially designed tools for helping smart kids manage their fears.

Additional Resources:

CDC Resources Page on Stress and Coping

CDC’s Stress and Coping webpage provides resources and information on how to deal and cope with stress, such as coping with job stress, adults experiencing stress from Covid-19, responding to loss, and coping and support for children.

CDC developed the COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being to help support parents, caregivers, and other adults serving children and young people in recognizing children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being.

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