DR. GIOVANNI FOTI
Our blog is intended to provide current and future clients helpful ideas and resources.
Disclaimer: the information on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be therapeutic guidance, nor should it be followed as a substitution to a well established therapeutic relationship or individualized treatment plan..
Each time you watch the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video, Bell will donate 5¢ more towards mental health initiatives. Spread the word!
The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone. This is especially challenging for individuals struggling with mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Social isolation, financial pressure and fear of the unknown has made things difficult for us all. Here are some practical ways to cope with your feelings of anxiety, sadness, and anger:
Acknowledge your feelings-It is normal to feel anxious, afraid and angry.
Keep a schedule- create a consistent routine for you and your family.
Keep in touch with loved ones- stay connected through phone calls, video calling and emails.
Manage your stress- Find ways to get physical and incorporate relaxing activities throughout your day i.e: lunch hour yoga or a walk.
Find something to laugh about- tap into humour to relieve your stress.
Pay attention to your food and drink choices- fuel your body with nutritious foods.
Prioritize sleep- getting the proper amount of sleep is vital to your mental health.
Focus on the positive- limit the news and instead focus on spending quality time with family and friends.
Finally, notice that you are doing the best that you can.
We all struggle with feelings of intense emotions at some point in our lives, but if those feelings become persistent or interfere with your ability to cope with everyday life then it is time to reach out and seek professional support.
The Government of Ontario is providing one-time funding for parents to help offset costs during this school year.
The deadline to apply is February 8, 2021.
Parents will receive up to $200-$250 for each child. The website below provides all the details you need to know about eligibility, and the application process. The site is very user friendly and there is an option to receive the funds by e-transfer. People have received the e-transfer days after submitting the applications.
If you have more than one eligible child, make sure that you complete applications for each child.
They recently made a change indicating that starting January 11, 2021, children in Grades 8 to 12 will be eligible. Initially only students up to 12 years old were eligible.
Click on the link below to be directed to the government of Ontario website
One of the greatest challenges of parenting is addressing and correcting a child’s inappropriate behaviour. While parents can have different styles of parenting, children need parents to respond to a child’s behaviour in a consistent manner. It can be difficult to be consistent and very difficulty to always be consistent. Some topics parents argue about include their children’s nutrition, sleep habits, appearance and safety to name just a few. When parents are consistent and informative, their children are more likely to behave well. Here are some steps parents and caregivers, can take to strive towards consistent parenting:
• Make a list of your child’s behaviours that you want to stop. Start with the strongest area of concern.
• List consequences for each behaviour (e.g., removal of privileges for inappropriate behaviour, and/or giving privileges for appropriate behaviours)
• The consequences should be clearly understood, proportional to the behaviour, and consistently applied.
• Choose consequences for each behaviour that you and your partner can agree on and are able to follow through on.
• Set up a family meeting and discuss your new parenting strategies
• Allow the child to participate in making the final list or "behaviour contract"
• Once you have decided on the consequence for each action, provide the child with a copy of this list
• Both parents need to impose the consequence agreed upon each time a child commits the behaviour being targeted
• Do not threaten. Anytime the rule is broken, either parent needs to impose the consequence
• Do not say “if you do that again…” or “am I going to have to ….”
• Remember, children LOVE and thrive on consistency
• Finally provide appropriate praise or acknowledgement when your child demonstrates appropriate behaviour that you want the to continue.
If you need support with the above topic, book a Free consultation.
Many things that the average parent takes for granted, you cannot. Parents and caregivers of children with ADHD know the patience and dedication it takes to advocate for their children, especially in a world that often struggles to understand ADHD. When the day finally comes and you receive that ADHD diagnoses, you may feel some relief because now you know that there is a reason your son or daughter struggles in school and with every day tasks.
Now what? how do you help your child navigate their ADHD symptoms? This is the point at which many parents find themselves, they feel stuck. As a parent of a child with ADHD, you worry incessantly about your child's school performance, emotional well-being and especially their self esteem, as these kids attract significant negative attention and daily criticism. Children with ADHD have the potential to succeed academically; however, their difficulties with organization and in completing assignments makes them underachievers. As an experienced child psychologist who has researched this topic, I can assure you that your child CAN learn new behavioural, social and emotional skills and you can help them succeed in school and in developing healthy self-esteem through systemic learning.
Here is an activity you can try with your child to practice decision making and self control:
Children with ADHD often forget the rules and the expectations set out for them by their parents and teachers. Provide your child with possible situation they might find themselves in (e.g., a peer takes know over their toy, you tell them to turn of the video game and they don't want to, they are in class and feeling bored, etc.). Next, ask your child to list possible things they could say and/or do in these situations. Finally, ask them to rate each of these options from 0-5 (0= not a good option; 5= a great option). Go through the decision making process to help them practice this skill.
For more information, book an appointment with one of our clinical practitioners.
Many parents and caregivers associate low mood and anxiety as adult problems, but mental health challenges affect people of all ages. Just like adults, children and teens can experience mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to help children and teens with their problems, because they may not understand what they are trying to communicate. The pressures of growing up in the COVID-19 era can be a daunting task for some children and teens. It is important that we acknowledge their concerns and worries, which may at times seem minute. It is important to take depression and anxiety in young people seriously.
As a parent or caregiver, you may ask yourself 'Now What'?
Since depression and anxiety are very treatable conditions, early treatment is important. Supporting a young person who experiences anxiety and depression can be accessed through your family physician, which is often the first and best place to start. You may also seek support through people like psychologists and counsellors. It is important to create a circle of care for young people, to support treatment and to prevent further deterioration. Since children spend the majority of their day at school, reach our to your child's teachers and ask if they have noticed a change in your child during the school day. If your child has received a mental health diagnoses, you may be able to request your child's school to provide accommodations to support their learning goals. No matter what you do, remember there is help out there.
If you need support in exploring the following topic with your child book a free consultation.
With COVID-19, our children's routines and relationships have significantly changed. Here are some ways parents and caregivers can cope with their child's stress and anxiety: