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Tactile learning: the importance of hands-on activities for children

Tactile learning: the importance of hands-on activities for children

Did you know that the first three years of a child’s life are the most impressionable? From ages zero to three, children begin to develop their own personalities and socialization skills and conquer some of the most important physiological milestones. These skills expand throughout childhood, which is why it’s important to leverage a system of teaching that aids learning through the senses, particularly through the sense of touch. Below, we explain the importance of tactile learning in helping promote strong, positive mental wellness in your child.

Helps children with learning disabilities

Since cognitive learning and physical activity are parallel and essentially reinforce one another, tactile learning methods can help improve a child’s concentration and learning capacity and increase self-confidence. A play-based learning technique allows children who struggle to maintain focus and learn in a traditional setting to succeed. This type of learning allows children to become engaged through intentional play tactics that help build the foundation for future education.

Promotes positive growth

Consistent, positive interactions with adults and other children their age allow a child to develop a positive, more relevant perception of the world around them. With instructors and parents engaging in play, whole parts of the child’s brain are engaged, which helps develop crucial connections that lead to positive development and growth. Tactile environments allow children to be free to experience learning through the senses.

Endorses learning through play

Children thrive when surrounded by supportive, interactive programs that focus on their mental and physical development. Not only is hands-on learning an excellent way to help children develop better social and motor skills, it’s also easy to get them involved. Since the activities use colorful toys for demonstration, children are more willing to play along and gain a better understanding of the subject.

At South Bay, we offer Early Childhood Services and Early Intervention programs that help families ensure growth, stability and well-being. Our approach is to help them identify their own strengths so they are empowered to foster their children’s growth and development. If you would like to learn more about how our programs can help you and your child, contact South Bay Community Services at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Monitoring your child’s screen time: Let’s talk about it

Monitoring your child’s screen time: Let’s talk about it

Last month, a story in the media about a social media challenge directed at children and young adults, called the “Momo Challenge,” created unease in parents throughout the country. The challenge turned out to be a social media hoax and no reports of children participating in the challenge actually surfaced – but they were still aware of it and were discussing it among friends.

Several questions and concerns in parents arose from this internet scare. Do I have a firm understanding of what my child is actually viewing online? How do I successfully and healthily monitor my child’s social media and internet usage? Below, we offer a few tips on how parents can become more in touch with and supervise their child’s digital footprint.

Establish open lines of communication

It’s important to sit down with children to explain what’s out there and the harmful impact some online content can have on them. Don’t be afraid to have these hard conversations. Children experience fewer damaging effects when they’ve been taught basic media literacy skills.

Make technology use a privilege

Make it known that your children have to earn their screen time. This may be difficult for them to understand, but stay firm in this discipline – lessons learned from delaying gratification and controlling the impulse to use technology are essential for healthy development.

Set clear guidelines

Establish rules that will help your children develop healthy habits when it comes to internet usage. Where can your child use technology? When can they use technology? Which sites are going to be blocked? Set up a meeting to discuss these concerns as a family – and let your children give input! You’ll probably need to have a few of these meetings throughout the years as your child grows older and more mature.

Raising a child can be hard, especially in this digital era. If you would like assistance with talking through these kinds of tough issues, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Helping teens care about mental health

Helping teens care about mental health

Every teenager is going to experience pressure at some point in his life – pressure to achieve academically, pressure to fit in, pressure to establish a career path, etc. With the increasing demands put on teens today, it’s essential for them to understand the importance of mental wellness. Developing self-confidence through mental wellness will make it easier on teens to resist peer pressure.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial for teens to appreciate its role in wellness as they prepare to venture into the world on their own. Below, we offer a few tips on how to encourage your teen to prioritize mental health.

Teach coping skills

Learning how to deal with and conquer negative emotions takes time. Work with your child to establish healthy coping skills that will ease the stress of the daily struggles he faces. Coping techniques can be different for every teenager, so work together to find what works. The goal is to establish a habit that will help your child put his negative feelings into perspective, allowing him to seek a healthy solution. 

Be open to having hard conversations

It’s no secret that talking with teenagers about controversial subjects can be challenging. However, being open to discussing mental health issues with teenagers not only diminishes societal stigma, but it also allows parents to prove themselves as an ally and a confidant. Look for everyday situations that can be used as teachable moments.

Instill self-esteem

Let your child know his worth. Make sure your teen knows he is good enough and accepted no matter what. Praise your teen, regardless the size of the accomplishment. And if the outcome is not what was hoped, make sure you still commend the effort. Encourage your teen to always stay true to himself, and let it be known that he is free to explore the interests that makes him a unique individual.

Your teen is not alone in his struggles. You’re not alone either. If you feel your child is struggling with his mental wellness, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

Sleep and your child’s mental health

Sleep and your child’s mental health

It’s no secret – sleep is an essential factor when it comes to your child’s overall health and development. While a few bad nights can be normal, children with persistent sleeping problems could lead to temperament, learning and social behavior issues. Below, we outline steps you can take to improve your child’s sleeping habits, ensuring they get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.

Bedtime bravery

For a lot of children, the looming thought of going to sleep can be anxiety-inducing. That’s why it’s important to help them face it with bravery. Try drowning out odd noises with a sound machine; illuminating the room with a night light; or re-labeling an air freshener bottle as “monster spray.” Stay consistent in helping them face their fear. If they wake up in the middle of the night, bring them back to their own bed – instead of resorting to letting them sleep in yours. In turn, celebrate your child’s good nights by using a rewards system such as a sticker chart.

Sleep environment control

Allow your child to take control of his or her bedtime routine by choosing which stuffed friend or blanket to bring to bed. Find an activity your child enjoys doing to help calm him or her before bed, such as selecting a book to read or giving him or her an after-bath back rub.

Unplug

Technology use can directly correlate with a child’s sleeping difficulties. Avoid this obstacle by asking your children to unplug at least one hour before bed. Use the hour as time for them to relax while doing quiet activities. Eliminating screens from the bedroom entirely or scheduling their screen time throughout the day can also help with your child’s difficulties winding down.

If you feel your child is struggling with sleep anxiety, you might be interested in learning more about our Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services. South Bay provides the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. A healthy night’s sleep benefits the entire family unit. As most moms can attest, when children sleep better, parents sleep better! Let our clinicians help your family establish healthy sleeping habits that will ensure you all get the critical sleep needed for mental, physical and emotional health.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

 

Beat the college stressors: Back to school for college students

Beat the college stressors: Back to school for college students

Whether you’re a college freshman who’s independent for the first time or a college senior who’s tasked with landing a job upon graduation, students of all ages deal with a lot of change, which can often be stressful and scary.

It’s true that your college years can be some of the best years of your life. But, we won’t sugar coat it – life in college can definitely be hectic, demanding and intimidating for some. The good news is you’re not the only one feeling this way. Experiencing anxiety over major life changes is normal. Some levels of stress can actually be a good thing, as the right kind of stress can lead us toward positive change and growth. However, stress and anxiety become a problem and a health risk for students when they exist for an extended period of time and seem impossible to control.

Whether it’s social or academic pressures, it’s important to seek resolutions from healthy outlets instead of harmful ones – such as drugs and alcohol. There are several resources available on campus to help you cope with and manage student stress. If you feel you need further guidance and support, these resources can connect you with a therapist – such as a South Bay clinician.

Whether you’re entering college or leaving college, know that it’s not a weakness to feel anxious about these life changes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Below, we outline a few of the most common stressors students experience, plus advice on how to take steps toward coping with them.

Living away from home

For many students, college is the first step toward complete independence. Experiencing this in an unfamiliar environment can be intimidating – especially since your support environment has changed. If you’re struggling with a lack of in-person support, connect with a South Bay clinician. A one-on-one session between you and a clinician will allow for a deep examination of your life, emotions and relationships. Treatment pace is based on your vision – it’s a balance of minimizing risk and achieving your goals. Our clinicians’ primary goal is to build a deep trust and understanding with you while guiding you through anxiety-management techniques.

Academic demands

Academic demands in college may be very different and more intense than they were in high school. Test anxiety symptoms can come in both physical and mental forms. If this anxiety hinders you from performing your best on an exam, seek assistance from academic advisors who can provide you with guidance. The on-campus academic services office should be able to arrange a tutor or other academic help.

Financial problems

Experiencing financial responsibility for the first time can be scary. Whether it’s textbooks, food, gas or social life, college can be expensive, and figuring out ways to budget your expenses is necessary. The financial aid office will have information and advice about money management, on-campus job openings and scholarship opportunities.

South Bay’s outreach program is unparalleled to any other behavioral health service in the area, which gives our clinicians the opportunity to physically reach those who need us most no matter their circumstances or where they are, including colleges.

Are you a parent feeling anxious about sending your child off to college? We understand how stressful the process can be. Counseling sessions with a South Bay clinician could benefit you, as well.

If you think you could benefit from our counseling sessions, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. Let us help you have the best possible beginning this school year!

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.