Does Telling a Child to “Stay Safe” Create More Anxiety?

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I know we should start to create safe environments as a school nurse. I hear parents drop off their kids and say, stay safe. It seems that those kids, though, are the most anxious. So how do we help? Uh, interestingly enough, it's a fascinating observation. Stay safe. It speaks more to a parent's concern. I'm worried for your safety. Now, change the language here for a second. Have a good day. Just know that I love you, and I can understand a school nurse hearing that. And I wonder as a interaction, and maybe a school does this, but I wonder what it would be like. And I've thought a lot about this. What if schools had a, a welcoming committee? What if they had somebody at the beginning, at at school just welcoming people? Hey, good to see you. Good to see you. Good to see you. Good to see you. A and I just wonder about just these, the dialogues that we're creating, uh, a a safety is essential. And I really like this school nurses observation. Can we talk with parents? Can we talk about this as a culture? And if so, I don't know the forum in which a school nurse in which you could do that, but I think it would be valuable to, to just encourage us to focus on some of these positive things. And maybe we could do that as a culture. Right. And then we're creating an environment where we are not necessarily inducing this anxiety, but we're ultimately saying, really, what does it mean be safe? Is it another way of saying, I care about you. I love you, you matter to me. Really, that's what we're trying to say. So that parent may be saying, I love you. Be safe anyway. What does it mean? Our language is a fascinating, the way we use language. So perhaps in this situation, perhaps it's just when you have opportunities, you know, I've noticed that in our school, we're anxious. Let's talk about the language we use that might actually en enhance or increase, increase anxiety, and what would actually help decrease anxiety. And that'd be a very interesting conversation just in general. So phrases we use, be careful, be safe. Hey, I want you to know that I care about you and I love you. Just different simple, simple messages gets across a very valuable point. Which one are we gonna use? It's just a way for all of us to reflect on what we're actually communicating and how we communicate. What's our real message? And that would be a message for all of us to consider. How am I communicating and what am I communicating to my child? And could it be increasing anxiety, just how I'm communicating? Am I at peace? Am I comfortable within myself? That's where we all start. And then I think we can expand that outward.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner