When Anxiety Becomes Unhelpful: How To Help Your Child

All children worry. In fact, worry in itself is not bad. In some situations, worry and anxiety are helpful! For example, if your child sees a bear while hiking in the Wissahickon, their anxiety may tell them to run away. If your child is nervous about an upcoming math test, they may choose to study instead of watching TikTok. Helpful anxiety can warn your child of potential threats and motivate them to focus on their goals. So, when does anxiety become unhelpful? Anxiety is unhelpful if it keeps your child from hiking in the Wissahickon or attending school on test days. In short, anxiety is unhelpful if it gets in the way of life, either for the child or their family. Anxiety can get in the way for kids when it leads them to avoid things that they normally enjoy. It also gets in the way when kids have trouble enjoying activities because they’re always worrying. A child’s anxiety can also get in the way for their caregivers and siblings. Perhaps you have changed your life (e.g., not going on a date with your partner) or family plans (e.g., canceling a family vacation) to make your child less worried. If you think that your child’s anxiety is unhelpful, there are things you can do at home to break the [...]

2021-01-05T21:31:29-05:00December 10th, 2020|Anxiety, Family & Youth|

Good Morning, Santana!

As we entered our ninth month of working at home due to Covid-19, I wanted to share my experience as a mom and professional, getting through this change to our typical day to day lives. I want to start by saying that I am grateful that I am employed and have a job that I can continue to do from home, which, unfortunately for some, was not an option. Without getting on my soap box, I will keep it short and honest about my experience these past months. This transition has been by far the most frustrating transition with my beautiful 2-year-old boy Santana, period! Like anyone who works in an office, you develop a routine. I'm going to just speak on my morning routine, which looked like the following before the pandemic; get up, get dressed, get my son dressed, drop him off at his grandmother's house, and do my cardio (which is power-walking up a hill to the train, praying I catch it.) I say power walk but probably borderline jogging! I used to do my cardio every day before arriving at the office. After catching up with others on my unit, I really miss that moment when you sit down with your coffee (personally, it's iced coffee or tea for me) where you just relax and take [...]

2021-01-02T19:34:32-05:00November 30th, 2020|Family & Youth, Pandemic|

Keep Medicines and Drugs Up and Out of Reach of Children

In an effort to decrease the number of accidental deaths and near deaths in children due to drug ingestion, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, in partnership with DBHIDS and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health have created a new campaign aimed to help parents and guardians keep children safe. When you have substances in your home, consider these tips to help keep your young ones safe: Keep medicines, paraphernalia, and other hazardous materials up and away:  If at all possible, keep them in cabinets that can be locked or child-proofed with latches. If locks are not easily available, make sure they are placed inside cabinets and drawers and not out in the open.  And be sure to put medicines away after  using them. Talk with your children: Have these conversations with children about medicines and drugs. Understanding how something can be harmful will help kids stay safe. Encourage others to help keep your home safe: When babysitters, extended family, and friends come over, ask that they keep any medicines they may have safely stored in bags or are not brought into the home.  The presence of substances, whether over the counter, legally prescribed, or illegal, present potential safety risks for families, particularly when there are young and mobile toddlers in the home. Death or a near fatal incident can [...]

2021-01-04T21:57:23-05:00November 12th, 2020|Family & Youth|

Combating Social Isolation in Children During COVID-19

By Tamra Williams, Ph.D., Deputy Chief Clinical Officer—Children’s Services, Community Behavioral Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services For children, one of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a decrease in opportunities to interact with their peers in traditional and important ways. Restrictions on face-to-face interactions with peers and playmates and more time spent indoors translate, for some children, into stress and frustration that affects their emotional and behavioral health. From a developmental perspective, we know that play and peer interaction is important for young children. It helps with social skills, moral reasoning, and cognitive development. Moreover, children staying home 24/7 can add an additional layer of stress to parents, chipping away at their emotional reserves and ability to parent effectively. How can we combat the loss of playtime and the increased stress on parents?  Routines are important. School provides a consistent routine that is vital for most children. With many schools starting virtually, it will be important to create a consistent schedule for children while learning at home. Make new traditions for the routines that typically happen while preparing for the start of a school year. For example, think about what might be needed for successful online learning experiences when planning for back-to-school shopping with your child. Physical activity is also helpful; try to schedule a [...]

2021-01-02T19:34:59-05:00August 21st, 2020|Family & Youth, Pandemic|
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