Dear Middle School Parents,
My name is Taylor Scalia, LMFT and I am the School-Based Clinician at Polson Middle School. I started working at MYFS in 2016 where I have been providing therapy for students with social and emotional needs.
As a new school year approaches, I know that your child is feeling excited, nervous, and ambivalent about what this year will bring; you may also be feeling the same way. Through the waves of COVID-19, we have seen how social and emotional learning and mental health have been impacted during this time. Below I’ve listed some suggestions you can use at home with your child(ren) as we enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and prepare for this new transition time:
- Keep a simple and daily routine. This will help your child with preparing for early morning wake-ups and prepare for a restful sleep.
- Monitor social media use. Notice how much screen time and what apps your child is using to connect with others. Sustaining friendships through social media is a guarantee at the middle school level, however, ensure that there are other activities your child can be doing to meet with others or keep their creative brain going.
- Monitor frequency and duration of your child’s isolation in their rooms. It was vital during quarantine to isolate and keep our families safe, however, an adolescent’s isolation for too long can mean a lack in friendships or a change in mood.
- Ask your child specific questions about any worries they have about school, their classes, or peers. Initiating these conversations show that you are open to talk about the “tough stuff” and that you’re available to listen or solve a problem.
- Have your child create a list of ideas of strategies that help soothe them or distract them during stressful situations (the bus, in the hallways, in class, etc.)
- Reach out to a support staff at your child’s school for additional support or resources.
If you have questions before school begins, are looking for parental resources, or are interested in learning more about counseling options for your child, feel free to contact me by calling MYFS at (203) 245-5645.
Taylor Scalia, LMFT