With summer quickly coming to an end, the back to school preparation looks a little different this year. In fact, this year has looked a lot different than any other year so far. Because of all the changes that are occurring I wanted to give my Back to School list of resources for families.
Talking, again, about COVID-19
COVID-19 has taken a toll on families in the shape of illness, job loss, life loss, staying at home with the whole family, the changing of school structure, and so much more. It is exhausting trying to keep a “normal” with so much chaos and change. It is SO important for families to focus on connection. Connection can be small moments of checking in or intentional moments, like a family dinner or meeting. By maintaining connection in the family, you are allowing natural moments of empathy and understanding to occur. These connection moments can let a family adapt through change by knowing where every family member is emotionally. Below are some resources to help families set up time to connect, how to connect, and what to connect about.
- COVID-19 anxiety workbooks (free resources!)
- Article: 10 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Julie Burke, LPC
- Paola Ortiz M.A., LMFT-Associate: “I think it is helpful to remind everyone, specifically families, that there is no perfect way to cope. We have no frame of reference on how to process a pandemic, so finding ways to survive is sometimes all we can do. And while we may be going through this at the same time, it doesn’t mean that our experiences are all the same. So each of their stories matter!”
- Positive Discipline resource page for COVID on their website: recommended by Lora Ferguson, LPC-S
Families and Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter movement has created a lot of conversations in families and communities. Talking through questions like:
- What is racism?
- Is reverse racism real?
- What is white privilege?
- What is systemic racism?
- Am I part of the problem?
- How can I be part of the change?
- In what ways can I support Black Lives Matter?
These questions can feel overwhelming. Connection, again, is a key ingredient in creating conversation with your family in how to research, educate, and answer these many questions. Below are some resources to help families talk through how to educate themselves, their family, and support Black Lives Matter.
- Children’s book recommendations
- NPR article and video: Talking Race With Young Children
- More Books to read:
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Podcast – Resmaa Menakem — ’Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’ On Being with Krista
General Resources for Your Family
The below include general resources/suggestions for you and your family to practice self-care, in general. Remember–there is not a right or wrong way to practice self-care and to feel your feelings as long as you’re giving yourself the opportunity to do so!
- Schedule family meetings to create connection
- Create a safe space in your home to retreat to!
- Take care of yourself through some basic self care
- Book recommendation by Amber Jekot, LMSW, MDiv: When Things Fall Apart by: Pema Chodron
- Reflect on your feelings:
The above resources are a collection of books, podcasts, words of encouragement, documents, and websites from myself and by my colleagues in the therapy field! Thank you to all of my friends and colleagues in the therapy world to help me create this back to school list. I also want to note that the resources are not exhaustive by any means; there are MANY tips, tricks, tools–this barely scratches the surface. However, it felt like a great place to start and a necessary tool to share with families. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!