“Our family has been heavily impacted by the news and the protests. Are there any small daily things we can do for our family’s mental health?”

global pandemic, a possible economic depression, and civil unrest inspired by the death of
Mr. George Floyd at the hands of police brutality. All this is happening at the same time. How
do you take all this and help your family cope with the pain and the anger and the frustration
this time? That is today's question on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed
marriage Family Therapist. I'm the Founder and Clinical Director of Teen Therapy Center,
a group of private practice. I'm also the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization
Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California, where we help kids, teens,
and families live happier lives. Every Wednesday noon, I come to Facebook Live to answer your
parenting questions, and here is today's question. Our family has been heavily impacted by
the news and the protests. It's hard not to feel angry and hopeless. My kids in particular are
overwhelmed and worried and I wish I could take that pain away for them.

Are there any small daily things we can do for our family's mental health? I just wanna get us
through this dark time. Yes, great question. It's a question that we've touched on several
times during this quarantine and it's worth mentioning again. There's a lot of ways I'm gonna
answer this. First, I'm gonna start out small and then we're gonna expand bigger and bigger.
First and foremost, make sure you're taking care of yourself. Make sure that your anxiety,
your worry, your sense of helplessness and helplessness is being dealt with, so you can be strong
and stable for your kids. Because if you're not being strong and stable for your kids, then that
worry, that anxiety, that pain, it's easy to unintentionally project that onto your kids,
and they absorb that, which expands their feelings, and they can either project that and lash
that onto you because they're uncomfortable, so they lash out and act out, or they internalize
it and they just go, they just fall into a deep depression. So

make sure you're taking care of yourself. It's really important. We will set the emotional
environment for our family, for our kids, and they will follow. So the more we can set a positive,
grounded, confident environment for our kids, They will follow that. So another thing you
can do is It's okay to shut off the news. Sometimes it's okay to shut off social media. Sometimes
There's a lot out there right now in social media and the news that is overwhelming and shutting
off does not mean that you're not Part of the cause not trying to support just means sometimes
you need you just need a break and that's fine That's totally fine to shut off the news social
media for a day or two days or every other day What do you want to do and then take that time since
we're all home because the quarantine Focus on our kids. Bake cookies together. Go swimming
if you have a pool. Walk the dog. Play a game. Do something creative and artistic. Have fun. And
if you do something creative, there is no wrong

way to do it. If your kids drawing a flower looks more like a moldy tomato, that's fine. It's not
about how well they draw. Unless they're getting paid, they can draw any way they want. And focus
less on whether it's good or not good. Focus on more their effort. Hey, I really noticed that
you really put a lot of attention to the colors you picked. That was really neat, right? Instead
of that's a good picture because it's not up to us to decide if her or his picture is good. It's
up to your child's decision whether that picture is good or not. But just show them that unconditional
positive regard. You know, be a part of the healing. That's really important is have positivity.
Another way is, you know, through art is a really interesting idea is have an inspiration jar.
Like put it on the kitchen table. Every day people Write down little notes and things that they
found inspiring that are positive Could be a funny joke could be hey, you know this cool thing
happened My little brother was

you know, it didn't bug me. It was really generous nice to me or whatever It is just nice positive
things I wouldn't put them in and every few days or so you dump them out I had dinner and everyone
reads one at random and you all try to guess who's Notice who's and then we also talk about well
how that was inspiring and do you relate to that? And did you have a similar experience? And let
that person talk more about their experience. I think that can be a really positive way to focus
on healing. Taking a step up is to be more proactive in the community about healing. You know,
perhaps you and your family organize donations for women's shelters or homeless shelters
or, you know, food banks or anything, you know, or for soldiers abroad. Anything that helps
people feel like you're giving back. Giving back helps us feel like we are healing too. I think
that's really important. Another thing, if you want to go even bigger, get politically involved.
If you're not sure what to do, where to volunteer,

any organization that focuses on non -violence or social justice, I think it's great. If you're
not sure, call your congressperson, call your city councilperson, call your state assembly
person, right? Go online, search for stuff. There are two organizations that come to mind that
are really blowing up right now. One is showing up for racial justice, one I just became aware
of now, which is more about equality. If you are someone who is white and has privilege and you're
afraid you're being judged for that, I don't think you're gonna get that there. I think it's
really about bringing everyone in and not being judgmental and letting everyone be a part of
the healing. I think, again, the more you can be active in the healing, I think the better. Also,
Black Lives Matter. It is a really, it's a legitimate organization. And I think it's important
that people get involved. And how do you help? And I think it should be, you know, all these organizations
should be a melting pot of cultures and

beliefs and ideas. So get involved. Get involved with your church, your temple, your synagogue.
You know, there are plenty of ways to get involved to help give back. The more we give back, the
more we help healing, the better we feel about ourselves because we feel good. I think that's
really important. That's how I recommend you help your kids. Start small and work your way big
as best you can. Anyways, that is our question for today. By the way, we will be releasing some
infographics, having more details about this. Our office manager slash social media coordinator,
Ash Liu, kind of helped me work on this and compile a big list. Such a big list, we couldn't put
it all in one video, but they'll be coming soon. Thank you, Ash, for your help. So I wanted to say
thank you, Ash. Give Ash a wave on Teen Therapy Center's website or our social media. Again,
my name is Kent Toussaint. If you have a question you'd like me to answer or next Wednesday at
noon on Facebook Live. Email us at tipsonteens

at teentherapycenter .com or direct message us right here. We love your questions. Thanks
again. Stay safe, and I'll see you next week. Bye bye.

In this difficult social and political climate, many families are feeling weighed down and stressed out. It can be hard to find ways to cope with our reactions to the news, especially for kids who are not sure how to process what’s happening. For this week’s #TipsOnTeens question, we’ll discuss ideas for how families can stay connected and take care of each other right now:
“Our family has been heavily impacted by the news and the protests. It’s hard not to feel angry and hopeless. My kids in particular are overwhelmed and worried and I wish I could take that pain away for them. Are there any small daily things we can do for our family’s mental health? I just want to get us through this dark time.”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.