Visualizing our children safe as they work and play is a quick way to calm our fears and anxieties about their wellbeing. But it only provides temporary solace. More focused action is needed if we want to see sustained results.
There’s good news for parents who want to take that action. A constellation of organizations are eager to lend their support by promoting access to those programs and services that can help keep their kids safe.
Building life skills
Not-for-profit organizations like Committee for Children and EQuip Our Kids! rely on the latest research from leading university and government sources to design programs that can help youth build personal and interpersonal life skills—their lifelines to a promising future. Observing youth who use these skills offers compelling evidence that they do indeed make a difference. Kids learn new ways to deal with problems, so they rely less on resorting to aggression and hyperactivity. They also learn alternate ways to deal with anxiety and depression.
Resilience promotes readiness
One of the most important life lessons we have learned from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is that such skills like resilience matter. The challenges of dealing with this pandemic required us to be strong and flexible – the same critical mix of skills that kids will need in a post-pandemic era to make smarter decisions when faced with all the unexpected circumstances they will encounter as they grow to be adults.
Incorporating safety into family routines
Home-based routines can help build that resilience, reinforcing what children learn from SEL (social and emotional learning) curriculum. This is especially valuable for those kids who worry about the welfare of their family, so much so that their anxiety interferes with getting enough sleep. EQuip Our Kids!’s resource, How Incorporating Safety into Bedtime Routine Can Help Ease Your Child’s Anxiety, offers parents helpful tips for alleviating their children’s anxiety, especially during that all-important period that precedes bed time.
EQuip Our Kids! staying on course
EQuip Our Kids!, a national nonprofit campaign, continues to lend their support to other campaigns, such as Committee for Children, that advocate teaching youth life skills. They recognize that parents and businesses can be important partners in advocating for the adoption of SEL (Social and emotional learning) curriculum which this nonprofit aims to include in every preK – 12 classroom by 2030.
Patricia Kutza is a partner (with Connie Payne) in DGMS & Co. Their company offers books and workshops based on social and emotional learning principles to schools, labor workforce units and senior living communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.