Dear Whittier Families,

January 6th, 2021 will most likely go down in history as a day to remember. Many of us adults are now and continuing to experience a great deal of anxiety, worry, fear and apprehension about what is to come in the next few weeks and years for our nation. As we experience these emotions in our minds and bodies, it is important to remember our students, your children, are likely experiencing some of the same feelings often in much bigger ways. Here are some tips for navigating conversations about the unease in our nation.

Support for conversation engagement:

Provide Words of Affirmation: Reminding your child you care about them.

  • I am here for you
  • I care about you and your well being
  • You are not alone
  • Let’s breathe together
  • You matter
  • You are important to me

Use Prompts to Foster Connection, Support, and Understanding - Ensuring your child(ren) feel heard and helping them gain a sense of control over individual circumstances.

  • What are you seeing/hearing?
  • How are you feeling about it?
  • What do you want me to know?
  • In what ways can I support you?

Normalize their Feelings - Reassuring your child(ren) that the range of emotions they are feeling are valid. This can foster feelings of safety and well-being.

  • It’s normal to feel (scared, confused, anxious, angry, worried…)
  • There are a lot of people who are feeling exactly the way you are right now.

Encouraging Social/Emotional Care for your children (& you)

Now is a good time to just sit and be with your child. What are their interests and favorite activities? Take time do those activities with your kids. Practice deep breathing, many of our Whittier students can show you how to do this! Color, paint, go for walks, read silly books together. Be silly, be lazy. Whatever you need to do over the next few days to take care of your family and its collective mental health and wellness is okay.

We, the staff at Whittier, continue to be here to support you and provide resources as we move forward as a community. Please, do not hesitate to reach out to myself, Tasha Novotny, or Laura Sanchez Garcia (PreK-2 School Social Worker) or any Whittier staff you trust if you need more resources or support.

In Kindness,

Tasha Novotny, LGSW 3-5 & FS3 School Social Worker

Whittier Social Workers Website