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The Baltimore Sun Features Advice from The Children’s Guild on Talking to Children About COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic affects everyone, including children who may feel confused, afraid, angry, or any number of difficult emotions. How can we recognize their feelings and talk with them about the pandemic? Dr. Sanaz Kumar, a psychiatrist and assistant medical director of The Children’s Guild Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, specializes in child and family psychiatry. She offers guidance to parents and caretakers in her Baltimore Sun commentary, “Talking to children about COVID-19.

“Talking with your children frankly and thoughtfully can go a long way in alleviating children’s fears and helping them to understand and grow in these challenging times”

“Talking with your children frankly and thoughtfully can go a long way in alleviating children’s fears and helping them to understand and grow in these challenging times,” Dr. Kumar says.

She suggests we start by asking children what they already know about the pandemic and let them guide the conversation. Use a calm and confident tone, she says, be honest and truthful and emphasize action as a way to address anxiety. Read more in Dr. Kumar’s commentary.

In addition to talking with children, Dr. Kumar discusses caring for children’s needs more broadly in our online resource, “Talking to Children about COVID-19 and Managing their Social and Emotional Needs.” She advocates for exercising self-compassion and gratitude while maintaining a routine, physical activity, social interaction, and family time.

Dr. Kumar and The Children’s Guild’s team of counselors and psychiatrists work closely with children and families in clinic- and school-based settings to address their emotional and behavioral needs. The Children’s Guild’s holistic, strengths-based, trauma-informed therapeutic approach actively involves parents, family members, caregivers, and school staff.

Honoring our Teachers and Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

The Children’s Guild Alliance joins the nation in celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week from May 4-8, 2020. During these difficult and uncertain times, we thank our teachers for their commitment to our students. There will not be any special parties or parades this year, but that does not mean our teachers’ work has gone unnoticed. Now more than ever, we are reminded of the work our teachers do every day to give our children the education they deserve. We thank our teachers for contributing their gifts and talents to The Children’s Guild and Monarch Academy schools and the children we serve. You serve children to ensure they achieve their full capability in academic, emotional, social, and life skills by establishing programs and discovering more effective methods to promote growth and change.

The value of our teachers’ daily contributions has never been more evident than right now. Parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends have all suddenly had to take on the role of “teacher, ” and never before have the contributions of teachers been more valued and respected! The reality of just how challenging and difficult the art and science of teaching really is, is now widely known. Teachers are now valued as the true heroes they have always been. Our teachers now contribute not only to the remote learning of our students, but they also contribute to the distant learning of their family members. Their contributions to the delivery of our distance learning platform has been done with compassion, integrity, and patience, even while many of them are experiencing your own challenges with kids, family members, and pets in the room.

In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, we acknowledge the countless ways each of our teachers contribute to the organization daily. From delivering Chromebooks and hot spots to kids; providing students with their musical instruments to practice at home; or imagining creative virtual ways to engage kindergartners, middle schoolers, and students on the severe end of the autism spectrum, our teachers’ contributions are endless and so is our appreciation for each and every one of them.

Our students have come up with many creative ways to say thank you to our teachers from sharing their favorite photos with teachers and staff through social media to recording a video message or writing a letter to their favorite teacher or even dressing up like their favorite teacher and sharing it on social media. Students have been asked to give their teacher something special by drawing a picture, writing a poem or singing a song and sharing it on social media. They are telling teachers why they miss them, telling them a joke to make them smile, telling them about their superpowers, thanking a teacher for what they do, or telling a teacher why you think they are fabulous. Some students are even decorating their neighborhood to say thank you.

The entire Children’s Guild Alliance family says thank you and salutes its teachers!