Last night I attended our Board meeting through Zoom. This was a new experience for me, and I have to say it was challenging in a number of ways. I had to get used to seeing myself on my screen as I spoke and then watch as a variety of people’s faces popped up as it was their turn to speak. Sounds simple and straightforward, but I think since I often look and depend on facial reactions as part of having a conversation with people this new form of communication was unnerving for me. I felt disconnected from the other people in the meeting. I also found it challenging to interject my ideas, (which is often a challenge for me in a large groups). But, and this is an important but, I am happy to challenge myself to become more comfortable with Zoom, and I am willing to be kind to myself and say “well not your best meeting but next time I will be better. “
That is what I want to convey to all of you today. This is a new, challenging and difficult period for us, adults and children and it is important to give yourself permission to make mistakes, not perform your perceived best. It is Ok. I think many of us are trying new ways to work, stay in touch with friends and extended families, take care of our children and take care of ourselves. Be brave when you can, learn new things and try new ways to fulfill your needs and the needs of your family and community, and most importantly take a break when you need to.
I think a common theme at our meeting last night was how can we as a community best support our children? I think this will be an ongoing conversation and goal over the next few weeks and possibly months. As a start to tackling this question I began reading a book a friend of mine recommended. It is titled “SELF-REG – How to help your child and you break the stress cycle and successfully engage in life”, by DR. Stuart Shanker. I am finding it helpful and interesting. It provides insight into what happens to your brain as you experience periods of stress and the importance of breaking the “worry or stress cycle”. It also brings attention to the fact that parents ( and teachers) can play an important role in decreasing a child’s stress. I like some of the practical tips and suggestions it gives to help us recognize stress patterns and how to help dispel some stress triggers.