Jennifer Daily, LICSW Updates

Friends, we are about to face a really big challenge... and there's just no good way to do it. It's Back to School time... in a pandemic.

Some of you are going back in person, some will go back to virtual learning, some will go back to a hybrid model, and although there's pros and cons to each of them, none of them are a perfect solution.

So, how can we make this school year as successful as possible, given the circumstances?

  1. Set expectations and define them. How are we going to know it was a good day? Our old definitions of success won't apply this year.

  2. Validate and Acknowledge. There is nothing that is easy when we are living through a pandemic. We don't have to reframe everything in a positive light. It's ok to say that something is hard.

  3. Create a new ritual. Find a routine that you and your family can stick to, regardless of how many times the school plans change. Maybe have a dance party at the end of virtual school- make it something to look forward to.

  4. Most importantly- Parents, find some way to have alone time BY YOURSELF. You have been working from home and surrounded by people for six months now, which is an intense amount of time to be with people. Figure out a way that you can have some time to recharge your batteries without interruption.

If you feel like you need more help, you can check out the coaching section of my website, then contact me to talk about setting up an Action Plan for your family.

We are working on getting all the content from the old site's blog into the new site's blog. Thank you for your patience while we work on that! In the meantime, you may want to check out Jen's Facebook page for her posts and recent videos, and enjoy this photo of Ruthie!

As a therapist, every day I can see all these huge systems that are working that either hurt or help my clients, and everyone else in our community. Teenagers are noticing these systems too, and they are able to see how unfair they are. Today's teenagers also are very aware of the powerful tools we all carry around in our pockets- and they are using them to learn, to communicate, and to make the world a better place.

So why don't they talk to their parents about how they are making the world a better place? Well, most of them tell me they have tried, and felt like they were invalidated by the response. It's important to listen carefully when teenagers are talking, and understand how they communicate smaller things, and judge your initial response before broaching bigger subjects.

Check out some suggestions for better communicating with your teenager in this video!