Message from Superintendent, Scott Kuykendall (Spanish)
It is pivotal at this time to focus on the mental wellness of children and adults. Seeking a better understanding of the factors that could potentially hinder daily performance and relationships is the first step. Check out the individual video series to break down the four Cores of mental health and wellness. The four Core pillars are World, Body, Mind, and Spirit.
1. The World pillar is all about your environment, safety, relationships, and finances.
2. The Body pillar encompasses everything you need to be physically healthy such as nutrition, exercise, and health care.
3. The Mind pillar is about being mentally strong. Here is where we learn to navigate tough times, through the thoughts, memories and feelings that we all have.
4. The Spirit pillar. This is about becoming more self-aware, finding meaning and purpose, and caring well for others.
Tips on How to Support Your Children/Students...
• Develop a Daily Routine with Your Child. Discuss your child’s needs during the day and encourage flexibility and plenty of “brain breaks.” Help empower your child to make decisions about those moments. Try to be as creative as possible and use visuals for younger students. Using visuals helps because words disappear right after we say them. A picture or graphic image that represents the word can “stick around” longer than a spoken word.
• Monitor Screen Time and Digital Safety. Privacy experts recommend several steps to help ensure that your child is safe and comfortable online.
o Know what sites your child is accessing, and try to make time to ask about why they like certain sites.
o Be aware of how your child is interacting online. Have they been exposed to bullying or are there other issues?
o Talk to them about commenting on the internet and how best to handle comments from others.
o Consider doing an online audit of their privacy settings on all of their social media platforms, and check out all their privacy settings with a “spot check.”
• Develop Wellness Routines. Children of all ages need opportunities where they can take time out each day to unplug, relax, and focus, especially at this moment. Meditation offers this break and helps children function more effectively and clearly. The simple act of teaching children how to stop, focus, and just breathe could be one of the greatest gifts you give them. Find out more:
• Provide Emotional Support. Check-in with your child on a regular basis. It is important to see how your child is coping as their emotions and feelings can change daily. If you have multiple children, try to individualize your check-in to make it personal. When providing your child with emotional support, try to be non-judgmental. It also helps to be an active listener -- this is not a time to solve your children's problems but rather offer an opportunity for them to express themselves.
• Experience “Joyful Movement” Outside. The day can go by very quickly so be sure to get some sunshine and “joyful movement,” an approach to physical activity that emphasizes finding pleasure in the ways we move our bodies. Ask your child to stop and tune in for a moment: How is your body feeling? Is it tired? Energetic? Does it want to move, or does it need to rest? If it wants to move, what kind of movement is it craving?
• Take a Break. Sometimes you need to walk away from the project, assignment, or situation. Do that together. Take a quick brisk walk to clear your head and then return to the situation refreshed.
• Create a Family Journal. Place a notebook in a central location in the house. Each family member can draw, ask questions, and share what’s on their mind. Include extended family members too. Send them handwritten letters and ask for a note back.
• Have a Daily Debrief. End each day with everyone sharing a highlight and low-point of the day and ask how you can work together better tomorrow.
Focusing on World, Mind, Body, and Spirit is something anyone can incorporate into a daily routine. And by creating a safe learning and living environment, combined with a multitude of healthy relationships, better nutritional choices, and a willingness to take control over ourselves, we can then realize our true potential.
It is important to take mental health and well-being seriously. It takes work, but we are better if we do it. Together.