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MENTAL HEALTH MONDAY: BUILDING CARING CONNECTIONS

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Matthew 18:20:  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  

The holidays are here! We will be spending more time with our families with the desire to celebrate and make new memories. We all approach the season with wants and desires and they are not always received the way we would hope. How can we manage expectations and be positive role models and reflect Christ’s love this season?  

Tips on Getting Along Well

  1. Set Intentions: There are usually more things to do in a day than we can accomplish which can cause a host of issues in a family. Help your family learn how to handle stress by setting intentions together. This provides an opportunity to talk about expectations. 
  1. Lead with Love: What would day to day interactions look like if you led with curiosity and compassion rather than frustration and predictability?  
  1. Connect before you correct: It is so easy to correct our children and our friends. Instead of saying, “you are being dramatic”, try saying “it sounds like it was a tough day, what is something that went well?”  
  1. Ask for help: Moms, this one is for you! The holiday season kicks in “superhero mom mode” and it is a hard gig to keep going for over a month. Asking for help does not seem socially acceptable because it will show weakness or the inability to handle what others do – at least that is what we tell ourselves. Learning to ask for help or delegating responsibility helps bring a sense of togetherness and relief! 
  1. Boundaries: Say NO. It is so hard but if you set your intentions and there are just too many “things” graciously decline events and invites if it puts too much strain and stress on your family. Remember, our demeanor affects our relationships and if it is too much, reschedule for another time. 
  1. Flexibility: On the other side, be flexible with your intentions and schedule and leave a margin for things to change. Stay open minded to suggestions, try new approaches and figure out what works best for your family. 
  1. Active Listening: Phones down, eye contact, repeat what you heard and be mindful of body language and listen! 
  1. Validate Feelings: It is easy to say “stop whining and complaining”. Let’s replace that with “I can see you are frustrated, let’s try to brainstorm some ways to handle this, I am here to help”  
  1. Make good decisions 
  1. Forgive 

Remember that Jesus is here to lean on and depend on each minute of every day. Ask Him to go before you as a family and model giving your schedules to Jesus. He is our King and loves and knows us so well. He desires a relationship with us and it is so important to set a routine each day that includes the One we are working so hard to celebrate! 

Contact Nancy

Speak confidentially with Nancy Secrest, licensed counselor, by contacting her at 614-410-4306 or sending her an email.

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