Providing structure can help keep children emotionally stable

A mental health tool kit for families returning to the classroom

SAN ANTONIO – As children return back to the classroom over the next several weeks, KSAT 12 wanted to provide students and parents with a mental health tool kit to help navigate through what can be an emotionally trying time.

KSAT spoke with a mental health expert about ways to provide an emotionally sound environment at home.

The CEO of the Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative, Talli Dolge said structure and routine is crucial and part of that is limiting screen time.

She said if the child’s environment at home is an emotionally balanced one, then it could help them feel mentally strong or stable when they return to the classroom.

“Set parameters on your technology and what you’re watching. Those are all really important things to be doing right now to provide the structure for a child going back to school,” Dolge said. “Because a lot of the time we are all not aware of how the media or our technology are affecting us personally. And we really want to be able to get a hold of that. And how do we do that is by taking inventory and by making that structure and putting that in place.”

She said maybe just giving your child timed parts of the day for social media or technology is a way you can do this.

Another way to provide structure is to stick to routines.

For example having carved out meal times at the table or having the same snack right after school, can provide routine. And post pandemic she said it is crucial to also make sure your child is having enough face to face time socially with other children.

Dolge said to provide play dates or face to face social time outside of school for your children helps them grow emotionally.

About the Authors

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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