Newsletter May 2022

The end of the school year brings moments of joy as well as a promise of rest and fun for the summer. Sometimes the summer is a season of family togetherness and sometimes it is a season of uncertainty. Frustrations and tempers flare as siblings spend too much time together, and parents don’t get to have 3 months off work. Here are some ideas to make summer smooth sailing. Set a weekly date night with your sweetie. Prioritize your couple relationship. Limit your time on social media and your kids. Social media promotes insecurities and body image issues in kids. Social media also highlights everyone’s successes, not their struggles. The more kids get outside and with other kids doing things the more their thinking brain is engaged. Creativity is increased when kids have to construct meaning and not just be entertained. Plan 1 fun event a week as a family if possible. It could be a baseball game, going to a community pool after work, or a trip to get ice cream as a family. If you really want to know what’s going on with your kids, take a road trip and don’t let them bring a computer or ipad or limit their phone use to pictures only. They will be a captive audience in the car and conversation will ensue eventually. Kids don’t need perfect parents, just present ones.

Newsletter June 2022

The kids aren’t ok, the teachers aren’t ok, and the parents are’nt ok

In light of recent world events, I would like to provide a balanced view of what kids need to know to feel safe. Kids are not mini adults. Please limit the content about the school shooting they are exposed to in the news or other social media. As a parent, former public school teacher for 28 years, and now a therapist, kids want to know what to expect. Structure and routine create boundaries and safety for kids. They need to know you will always be there for them, you love them, and that they can tell you anything. Kids individuate and co-regulate with their caretakers. If as adults we are not regulated we can make comments which do not enhance safety, trust, or respect for law enforcement, school teachers, or elected officials. Most kids love school and their friends and their teachers. They are asking themselves who is going to protect us if that happens here at my school? Kids under 10 do not have abstract reasoning formed in their brain. People are either good or bad in a kid’s mind. There is no middle ground or extenuating circumstances which might explain the shooting. I want parents to reassure their kids that they can be safe and that you will protect them. The outpouring of support and love for the school shows us that good can be found in the midst of tragedy. People who have vulnerabilities or trauma history do not need more things to worry about. Please understand that what might seem a little worry to you could be a massive fear for your child. Everyone has a personality template and we are all different so listen when your child is telling you their fears about school or safety. If parents are confident in their abilities to provide safety for their children, their children will grow up with self-confidence.

Terri Burns, LMFT
Associate Supervised by Tiffany N. Smith, MS, LPC-S, LMFT-S, NCC

(972) 277-1217