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Hidden Valley Elementary School

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    Tips for our current situation at home

    Keep routines in place - Kids should get up, eat and go to bed at their normal times. Consistency and structure are calming during times of stress. Kids, especially younger ones or those who are anxious, benefit from knowing what’s going to happen and when.  The schedule can mimic a school or day camp schedule, changing activities at predictable intervals, and alternating periods of study and play.  It may help to print out a schedule and go over it as a family each morning. Setting a timer will help kids know when activities are about to begin or end. Having regular reminders will help head off meltdowns when it’s time to transition from one thing to the next.

    Be creative about new activities — and exercise - Incorporate new activities into your routine, like doing a puzzle or having family game time in the evening.  Build-in activities that help everyone get some exercise (without contact with other kids or things touched by other kids, like playground equipment). Take a daily family walk or bike ride or do yoga — great ways to let kids burn off energy and make sure everyone is staying active.

    Manage your own anxiety - It’s completely understandable to be anxious right now (how could we not be?) but how we manage that anxiety has a big impact on our kids. Keeping your worries in check will help your whole family navigate this uncertain situation as easily as possible.  For those moments when you do catch yourself feeling anxious, try to avoid talking about your concerns within earshot of children. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and take a break. That could look like taking a shower or going outside or into another room and taking a few deep breaths.

    Limit consumption of news - Limit consumption of news and social media that has the potential to feed your anxiety, and that of your kids. Turn the TV off and mute or unfollow friends or co-workers who are prone to sharing panic-inducing posts.

    Stay in touch virtually - Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children.  Let kids use social media (within reason) and Skype, Zoom or FaceTime to stay connected to peers even if they aren’t usually allowed to do so. Communication can help kids feel less alone and mitigate some of the stress that comes from being away from friends.  Technology can also help younger kids feel closer to relatives or friends they can’t see at the moment. 

    Make plans - In the face of events that are scary and largely out of our control, it’s important to be proactive about what you can control. Making plans helps you visualize the near future. How can your kids have virtual playdates? What can your family do that would be fun outside? What are your favorite foods you can cook during this time? Make lists that kids can add to. Seeing you problem solve in response to this crisis can be instructive and reassuring for kids.
    Even better, assign kids tasks that will help them feel that they are part of the plan and making a valuable contribution to the family.

    Keep kids in the loop — but keep it simple - Unless kids ask specifically, there’s no reason to volunteer information that might worry them. Older kids can handle — and expect — more detail, but you should still be thoughtful about what kinds of information you share with them.
    Check-in with little kids - Young children may be oblivious to the facts of the situation, but they may still feel unsettled by the changes in routine, or pick up on the fact that people around them are worried and upset. Plan to check-in with younger children periodically and give them the chance to process any worries they may be having. Children who are tantruming more than usual, being defiant or acting out may actually be feeling anxious. Pick a calm, undistracted time and gently ask how they’re feeling and make sure to respond to outbursts in a calm, consistent, comforting way.
    Accept and ask for help -  If you have a partner at home, agree that you’ll trade-off when it comes to childcare. Especially if one or both of you are working from home and have younger children. That way everyone gets a break and some breathing room.
    Everyone who can pitch in, should. Give kids age-appropriate jobs. 

    Here is the link -

    Here is one on managing Anxiety -

    Here is one for students with ADHD for parents -

    Anxiety leading to disruptive behavior -

    Navigating the New Normal

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    To report an absence, please call the office at (707)890-3925, or send an email to the office by clicking on the link below:  

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    Bell Schedule

    A Message from Mr. Drake

    I cannot recommend enough the value of Toolbox! Here is a very cool opportunity for you. Toolbox is offering a series of online Toolbox at Home Family Classes. Something like this can make life at home so much more enjoyable at all times, but especially when we're sheltered in place. If you're interested, please follow this link. Watch the 5+ minute video at the bottom and if you like, register for the short class series. The teaching parts are about 15 minutes and they are recorded for future viewing. There is time for Q&A during each session. Sessions are limited to the first 100 to register, but, again, they are recorded for future just won't have the interactive time.

    Check it out here!



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