A Free Mindfulness Tool for Kids and Adults!
Need a mindful moment today? Download Breathr, a free mindfulness app from the Health Literacy Team at BC Children's Hospital. This app is the perfect tool for children and parents to use to practice mindfulness strategies together!
"The app provides opportunities for users to try out a variety of mindfulness practices, while also teaching them interesting facts about the brain science behind those practices. For example, did you know that regularly practicing mindfulness can improve your relationships with others? Or that it has been shown to change parts of the brain that affect memory, empathy and stress?"
How Can Schools Treat Parents as Allies in Increasing Attendance?
Chronic absences are a significant problem in schools, especially in low-income areas. Low attendance rates often lead to gaps in students' learning and a lack of connection with school. Two recent studies show the importance of engaging with families and treating them as a positive influence in student attendance. When parents believe that attendance is important, kids come to school!
"These studies add to a body of work that 'empowers families to support student success.' Too often, schools instead view families as contributing to student failure — especially in low-income and urban settings, where students are absent at triple the average rate.
'Educators who take an asset-based view of families recognize that families are valuable partners in the quest to improve student success,” says Robinson. “This intervention builds on that framework, and invites parents to engage in their child's education in a way that is concrete and achievable: help get your kid to school more.'"
As a new parent, it takes courage and honesty to confront the stigma around postpartum depression and anxiety. Photos posted online put intense pressure on parents to display only their most perfect moments. This mom wanted to show the other side of her experience and, in doing so, opened up discussion around the all-too-common experience of postpartum mental health challenges.
“The truth is, both of these pictures represent my life depending on the day,” she writes. “I would only ever comfortably share one of these realities though and that’s the problem. The only thing more exhausting than having these conditions is pretending daily that I don’t.”
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
How Can Parents Help? What If the Anxiety Doesn't Pass?
My toddler went through a few weeks of anxiety when he started at a new preschool, and it was tough on all of us. Separation anxiety is a common but very normal experience that many children go through when spending time with a new caregiver or beginning at a new daycare or school. So what can parents do to help? And what happens if this anxiety doesn't pass? Here are some practical tips for navigating separation:
"Your job is to provide plenty of comfort, love, and security for your child. At the same time, continue to introduce your them to new experiences and give them age appropriate opportunities to experience independence."
The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain