Taking care of their mental and emotional health will actually help their child
Being a parent is stressful. When you’re stressed out about the community violence, you’re short-tempered with your kids, your frustration level is lower, and you’re not able to attend to your kids’ needs. You’re not able to help yourself because you’re so stressed out. It gets hard when we have to have conversations with parents asking, “Who’s your support? How are you taking care of yourself?” We help the parents to see that taking care of their mental and emotional health will actually help their child. When parents are on edge and when they’re depressed and sad it really affects the kids. Parents can get so hyper-focused on doing things for their kids that they don’t take care of themselves, and they don’t realize how that spills over.
Kamilah Drummond, Former Dean of Students, Dorchester Collegiate Academy
Sports decreases stress
This one boy, basketball was his life. Because his grades were slipping, they told him that he couldn’t play basketball. Sports decreases students’ stress and takes them out of this world for that time frame. They like the fact that it takes them away from all the challenges for that moment. Playing basketball is an easy thing to solve. Your only goal is to put the ball in the basket. You don’t have to deal with anything else, or the other stuff is not as easy to solve.
Shelby Derissaint, LICSW
Find a way to express it
People can find a way to just voice themselves, and not keep all this anger built up within them. Find a way to express it, either through physical activity, through writing, through meditation, whatever it is that you need to do to just get you at peace with yourself. Then you’ll be able to live a bit more freely.
Anthony Febo, Teacher and Spoken Word Artist
Kids are wise
Kids are so incredibly wise about what’s going on. One of the things that works for a lot of the kids is to be able to say, “I am not okay. This is awful. It may have been 3 years ago but I am still upset about it.” Even if they are really struggling to have a way to talk about what happened, they are very honest when it is still impacting them. I think adults are more focused on getting through it.
Erin Collins, LICSW
Even just having a conversation
When you’re talking about help, that doesn’t just mean you go to a clinic and talk with a therapist. It can be talking with other parents in your neighborhood, even just having a conversation. “This just happened down the street. What are you talking about with your kids? What is happening in your life? What do you think about it?”
Elizabeth Nyante , LICSW