Supporting Youth During a Pandemic: Virtual Sessions for LGBTQ+ Parents

We are currently facing unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has created trauma, loss, and a rise in anxiety for many. Our Family Coalition,  is a Bay Area nonprofit supporting LGBTQ+ families. They recognize the need to support their community members who are navigating this new norm.

I will be facilitating a free three-part series to help parents cope by providing practical tools and resources.

Learn how to: 
  • Ease children’s fear and anxiety related to COVID-19
  • Foster healthy relationships at home
  • Utilize therapeutic play activities and coping strategies
  • Instill self-care techniques
First Session: 

Supporting Tweens and Teens During COVID-19

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Click Here to register

Second Session:

Supporting Young Children Coping with COVID-19

Monday, July 13, 2020 from 12-1:30pm

Click Here to register

Third Session:

Parent Respite During COVID-19

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Registration link coming soon

If your organization is interested in having a workshop led, please email Shani at Childlifemommy@gmail.com.

Related Articles:

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

 

Tips to Support a Child Receiving Stitches

The first set of stitches is in the books for my little guy, Blake.  After I tossed him in a pond our giant lab, Tank leaped right on top of him. His paw hit Blake’s face and punctured his lip. Both of my kids freaked out. I mean full on tears and a hard time breathing. Blake went limp like a ragdoll, puked before we got him in the car, and then fell asleep from exhaustion. He was at a level 10 for anxiety. We had a 2-hour drive to urgent care, so it gave us time to regroup and calm down.

Here is what we did to make the situation go from high anxiety with pain and trauma to a successful procedure.
  1. I stayed calm. I lowered my voice, made good eye contact, and reminded him that this was my job.
  2. I prepared him for what he would experience. I gave him lots of details and cleared up misconceptions.
    I talked about his job of keeping his body still and breathing. I explained that stitches are string bandaids and that the doctor will numb the area so that he wouldn’t feel it.
  3. I validated his emotions and provided reassurance. “You are so scared right now. I will be there to help you.”
  4. Advocacy. This was a big one for me. I advocated for topical numbing cream which the doctor was hesitant on but then agreed. I knew it would decrease the pain from the lidocaine injection.
  5. Comfort hold. There was a papoose board in the trauma room and B asked what it was. Every meme that The iPad Lady has posted went through my head. There was no way they were going to use that. He was able to lay directly on my chest in a position for comfort.
  6. Distraction. I held up my phone so B could watch a movie during the procedure.
  7. Choices. I gave him as many choices as I could.
  8.  ONE VOICE. When he was getting the stitches it was just the doctor and us, no other team members. Everyone was super calm, the doctor would talk to him about what he was doing before he did it.
  9.  Procedural Support. I named things that he was doing great on, slow deep breaths & keeping his body still.
  10.  Bravery Reward. Yes, he got ice cream and chose a small toy for being so brave.

Highlights: The doctor said,” Good idea Mom on the numbing cream.” ❤️

You can continue to help kids process their experiences and feel empowerment when you ask them to share their stories. It could be done through medical play, art, journaling, or verbaling telling you.

 

Related Articles:

Medical Play 

5 Tips to Help Your Child at The Doctor 

How to Pack an Emergency Go Bag

Weaving as a therapeutic tool for children and families

Have you ever thought about incorporating weaving into a therapeutic tool for children? When families face life’s challenges of illness, separation, loss, and now the pandemic, they need an outlet to express how they feel. Using a variety of art modalities can help. I just learned about simple weaving techniques from SAORI Arts NYC and wanted to share them with you.

Read more