Finally Friday! It’s Friday which means you’ve made it through the week! Yay – big well done to you! I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and ‘connecting’ with you all – I hope it has been useful. It’s been really useful for me and my children too as it reminded me that it doesn’t matter how old they are, they still have worries. We did the worry jar activity together and had a great time being creative and talking through their worries. If your child has shared a worry that you are unsure how to help – maybe think about seeking support from professional agencies. Here is the link to services in Essex should you need it. https://essexfamilywellbeing.co.uk/covid-19-pandemic-resource-hub/ So looking back over the week and strategies for emotionally surviving Covid-19 – Monday we asked you to fit your own mask first, in other words, an emotionally healthy parent/carer can be more emotionally available for their child. Being emotionally aware helps us to ‘regulate’ our emotions. Tuesday we created a safe space – if our child is feeling overwhelmed, make use of this strategy to help regulate and return to calm again. Oh, another tip to help with this is breathing exercises – find something square in your room – picture, TV, washing machine, and follow the ‘square’ with your eyes starting at the top left corner. Finding something square helps keep us grounded whilst doing this. These activities and exercises all help to regulate our emotions when they feel like we just cannot get calm. Wednesday we did an activity for all and learning about our physiological responses to stress – stress is very much a part of our lives and we all experience it differently. Being able to sense when our bodies may be experiencing stress can help us to reach out for support before things get too much. We also did the science bit! How our brain responds when we feel under threat – really good to know. Our worry monster put in an appearance on Thursday – or jar or box or pot! Whatever you used, this is a great exercise to help with relating – and reminds us that:- So, we’ve learned ways to help our child regulate, we’ve learned ways to help us relate, today we look at the final R in the sequence – reason. Have you ever tried to reason with your child when they are angry, upset, shouting or curled up in a ball? Have you ever tried to discuss things like homework or screen time when your child has had a friendship fall out or issue with a teacher? Well, in short, forget it! You won’t be able to reach the ‘reason’ part of their brain until they are calm and safe (regulated) and their feelings have been acknowledged (relate) – now you can attempt to reason. Take a look at this to help make sense of this:- In the Children’s Team we use this approach in all our interactions with our families – feeling psychologically safe really is the key to being able to learn and enjoy our time with friends and family. I hope you can use it in your interactions too. So a big thank you for reading our first ever blog – leave a comment if you like… be good to hear from you. Before I sign off – for now – I want to remind you to be kind to yourself. One thing our children need right now are resilient parents – so give yourself treats, allow yourself to make mistakes, acknowledge what you’re good at and tell your child you love them every single day. See you Monday and stay safe, stay well, stay sane!