Obviously an alarming statistic for a teacher and a parent. Which brings me to my current favourite video for talking about mental health.
The video is from www.seizetheakward.org in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Their campaign is geared more towards teenagers, though I find their suggestions applicable to all ages. For example, on their website it says,
Is your friend going through a tough time? There’s a number of signs to watch out for. But you know your friends best, so trust your gut. And if something seems wrong, ask.
As you scroll down their homepage you will find a section with conversation starters, as well as how to keep the conversation going and what to do next. The information is presented well and could easily be talked about with older kids or students.
And this is the perfect segue to the book I wanted to talk about this year…
My principal gave me Counterintuitive before the Christmas break and mentioned the author, Tyler Durman, would be coming to speak to our staff. At first, I was doubtful of how useful it would be as it is geared more for teenagers, but it put a couple of different things about parenting Mav, my 3 year old teenager, into perspective. The biggest take away message for me was: freedom (and trust) are earned.
If you come to my grade 1 class, especially in the first part of the year, we talk a lot about trust. We have a trust ladder that kids move up as they learn the expectations and take responsibility for their learning and their behaviour. The first big payoff for getting to the top of the ladder is earning the privilege of going to the bathroom without a bathroom buddy. Pretty exciting stuff.
But how come I wasn’t doing this at home?! Things have changed little by little. We are still offering choices, but there are more consistent consequences for “unexpected” behaviours and though its not always smooth sailing both boys are responding to the clearer expectations my husband, Harrison, and I have laid out together. Oh, parenting. Survival of the fittest!
I am looking forward to hearing Tyler speak. I thoroughly enjoyed his sense of humor and I also really appreciated that Tyler spoke openly in his book about his own battle with suicide.
And to bring it all back to the reason I think it’s so important to talk about mental health and self care, please check out my original post about my dad titled Let’s Talk, or any of the other posts I have tagged bereavement.
Is there someone you need to check in with? Why not try the following opening line courtesy of Seize the Awkward.