By Martha Rodriguez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Children are certainly struggling with the residual effects of the presidential election. During this time of uncertainty, it is important to support your child’s mental and emotional health.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Private Practice I have some practical tips to help support your child’s mental health post-election.
1. Listen to and validate feelings
Do not ignore the current uncertainty
Listen to and take time to explore your child emotions and concerns
Do not be afraid to not have the answers to difficult questions
2. Teach tolerance¹ acceptance, difference in opinions
Develop your role In talking with your children about race and racism
Allow the opportunity for a rigorous age appropriate conversation to occur
Discuss diversity, humility, and tolerance the value of these and provide examples of such
Explore empathy and acceptance²
3. Practice what you preach
Be self-aware³ about your own experiences with issues of race and racism
Watch your language, tone, body movements, and conversations
Children are always listening and watching so be mindful
Remember children will be affected by your responses and behavior
Practice self-awareness make sure to also listen to how you are feeling and validate those feelings
Look for help if you need it
Remember if you are not well, you cannot care for those around you. We must practice self-care and put the oxygen mask on first!
Blog post by Martha Rodriguez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
University of South Florida Student Services Project, Social Work and Mental Health Consultant