Safe Kids Now Calls on Parents to Step Up
LAS VEGAS, NV / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2021 / The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down and created chaos in the lives of families all over the United States. Parents juggled homeschooling children with work-from-home arrangements, lockdowns and faced the daily task of keeping their families safe from the deadly virus.
Some signs of normalcy have returned, but recent statistics show kids are still struggling mentally and emotionally. The need for mental health intervention is more important than ever before. According to The Children's Hospital Association, in the first six months of 2021, children's hospitals nationwide reported a 45% increase in self-injury and suicide cases in 5-to-17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children's Hospital Association report during the height of the pandemic in 2020, mental health emergency room visits jumped 24% for kids ages 5 to 11, and 31% for kids ages 12 to 17.
Pediatric leaders have declared children's mental health a national emergency, urging policymakers to invest in telemedicine and mental health programs in schools. Parents are being warned about the danger, and many are seeking answers about what they can do to give their kids a sense of well-being.
Crime and Prevention Specialist Stephanie Mann of Safe Kids Now says parents can implement several steps at home to empower their kids and build self-esteem. It all starts with good communication.
Mann says, "place a "listening chair" in your kitchen or family room. Tell the children we are family and can share our concerns, problems, and good things that are happening. When a child sits in the listening chair, all family members at home have to stop what they are doing and LISTEN. This is a great way to let children know their concerns are important, and we are here to support each other. This helps children see they are not alone, and we can offer ideas to solve problems which will create a more peaceful and trusting home environment."
Safe Kids Now also advocates teaching kids to think for themselves. Mann says, "when a problem arises, don't try to solve it for them but ask probing questions. Why do you think that happened? How did that make you feel? What could you have done differently? Asking questions allows children to see they have the power to solve their own problems."
Safe Kids Now says if parents are actively involved, they can help their kids become strong and confident. Mann says, "kids will develop the emotional tools to resist self-destructive behaviors and will develop the 3C's, courage, character, and a self-protective conscience that can protect them especially during the teenage years."
She adds, "I want parents to see how awesome their children are, and with emotional tools and support, they can reach their potential and become happy self-reliant adults."
ABOUT SAFE KIDS NOW
Safe Kids Now National Network shares information to empower children, families, neighbors, and city leaders. We provide emotional tools for youth, guidelines for safe families, and steps to make your neighborhood, and community safe, health places to live. Stephanie Mann is a crime and violence prevention specialist and consultant. She has been working with criminal justice agencies, politicians, police, and citizen groups since 1976. She has helped city leaders strengthen families, support youth, and restore community peace. She is the author of five books on safety and host of The Safe Kids Now Show on AAU Media. For more information, visit Safe Kids Now on Facebook and Twitter. For additional information, visit www.safekidsnow.com.
SOURCE: Safe Kids Now