In today’s episode, Dr. Toni talks with youth and family psychologist and author Tasha Belix about how to support your kids through these challenging times and have tough conversations about mental health, the pandemic, suicide, violence and racism.
Tasha is the mom of 3 girls and a registered psychologist with over 20 years of advanced training in affective neuroscience, trauma-informed care, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and emotion-focused family therapy. She is also the co-host of Raising Strong Kids Through Divorce podcast, author of What Do You Do With A Feeling? and founder of B’tween Girls program that builds essential relationship skills, confidence and emotional regulation in girls grade 4-9 through skills based therapy. She has spoken at Lionheart Foundation for girls with anxiety-based issues and Fast and Female Summit for young girls in sports.
In this episode, we cover:
- The different coping mechanisms that both you and your kids might automatically adopt when the structure around your life changes
- How stressful, challenging times can affect your kids’ behaviour including things like sleep and toilet training
- The importance of normalizing and speaking about how you feel all emotions including grief, sadness and anger
- How always pushing happiness and striving for high level performance on your kids has a cost
- Which hard questions you can ask your kids to learn more about their inner world, giving them an opportunity to share any pain that they are feeling
- How having a conversation about suicidal thoughts will not plant a seed in your kid if it’s not already there
- The first place you can go when you are concerned about your kids’ mental health (hint: it’s your family doctor)
- Tasha’s mental health recipe for everyone each day to take care of your:
- Head – mindful activity like playing in a sandbox, sitting on your yoga mat, writing a poem, listening to music, looking out at nature
- Heart – connecting to another human being in real life with eye contact and voice (not texting!), even if it’s only with the barista at Starbucks
- Body – moving to sweat and release your stress hormone cortisol and feel good endorphins
- How to know if you and your kids are super-feelers
- The importance of moving your feelings through your body and looking for silver linings to step through depression and feel more happy
- Using the pandemic as an opportunity to have conversations with your kids (with curiosity and love) around what they know, think and feel about what is going on in the world around the pandemic, racism and police brutality, as well as what it may feel like to be “the other”
Tasha Belix to connect with Tasha and find more resources for your kids’ mental health
Common Sense Media for parents and educators
Today’s Mama Must Have:
Dr. Toni recommends having a family doctor that you can connect with, share your struggles honestly and provide information on mental health resources in your area.
Tasha recommends taking some time for yourself so you can step back from your care-taking role as a parent or at work and give yourself a daily dose of care for yourself and your soul. It’s necessary, and not selfish. It could look like going for a walk by yourself, getting back to a place of worship or even simply reflecting on 3 good things that happened before your head hits the pillow at the end of the day. She provides Facebook Live videos for more self-care tips.
Thank you for joining us today!
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Stay safe everyone!