Jennifer Daily, LICSW Updates

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Science time! I LOVE science!

Today we're going to talk about some basic brain science.

There are 3 basic parts of our brain that "help" us feel stressed or worried.

1- The Amygdala!

About the size of an almond, located in the back.

Has one job. Decides "DANGER!" or "no danger".

2- The Limbic System!

(not a band, but would make a great band name)

Like a warm blanket that lays on top of our brain.

It's job is to control all the physical feelings and sensations in our WHOLE body. Remember- every emotion has physical sensations attached! 3- The Neocortex.

Right up front in the brain (by the forehead).

This is where the thoughts and language and reasoning come from.

We do a fun experiment in this video where I trick your amygdala (but just in case you don't think it's fun, I give you a warning first so you can skip it), and then we talk a little about how some of our worries and stress right now are very real, but we can potentially remove some of the extra stress from our bodies so that we don't release that energy on our families and friends.

What's working for my family? What's not working for my family?

How do we work on what's not working for my family?

The number one thing all the kids I see in my practice want is to have time as a family, and to have a stronger, closer, more comfortable family dynamic.

Today, we are talking about the fundamental skill of how to talk to anyone (I teach this to kids as young as 5) in a straightforward way, while lowering defenses, and also communicating what's working or not working for you in that moment.


I Feel _____________ About ____________ Because ____________. I need/ want/ it would be helpful if _____________________.* *note, this is something YOU can do and have control over for yourself.

Examples and more explanation in the video below!

Everyone is feeling a little bit of extra stress these days. How much of this stress is coming from "shoulds" or "woulds" or "coulds" that aren't actually a good fit for your family?

It's ok if emergency "homeschool" isn't happening today. Our kids are going to do the things they are interested in, and learn about the things they want to pursue. We can work to find a balance on things like screen-time rules now that lots of learning and socializing happens on a screen too. Your kids' teachers know how to re-engage kids over a long break! They do this every year after winter break, after summer break, even after long weekends. We can trust our kids' teachers to be able to assess what their students need, and get them "caught up" once we can safely be in the classroom again.

Let go of the expectation that you should have a strict homeschooling schedule if you don't feel that is serving you or your family. Figure out what the expectations are for your family (or Quaran-team). Here are some suggested expectations:

  • Determine a predictable wake-up time (so that everyone has a predictable sleep schedule)- and know it can be later than you are used to!

  • Make an expectation for everyone to work on one project of their choice over the day- maybe it's an art or craft that you are learning, or a subject you want to find more about. Pursuing personal interests is important!

  • It's important to move your body every day. Take a long walk if you can, or check out youtube for exercises you can do in the house, or have a dance party...

Right now, we need to focus on what we are getting out of this situation that we might not have been able to do otherwise. Are we trying new things? Or maybe we have more time to do things we enjoy? Are we connecting with family that we don't normally see over the internet? Whatever worked (and whatever didn't work) for your family before, it will all be magnified now. Get curious about what works for you and your kids, and seek engagement without judgement.