November 10, 2020
A Conversation on Inclusion, Cooperation and Self-Esteem: Recap & Resources
This post recaps “A Conversation on Inclusion, Cooperation, and Self-Esteem,” a webinar hosted by Healthier Generation and Kohl’s Healthy at Home. You can watch a recording of the panel here.
Healthier Generation teamed up with Kohl’s to host a 30-minute conversation with youth engagement experts to share best practices to help nurture kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. As we continue to navigate relationships and learning in the context of a pandemic, including young people in our thoughts and conversations is as important as ever.
Check out these highlights of what we learned from our three panelists about supporting young people during this challenging time. (We’ve included timestamps for reference so you can follow along with the session recording).
Put these insights into practice with our communication guide, “How to Build Healthy Communication with Teens.” This guide includes reflection questions and helpful resources for parents, caregivers, and educators who work with teams.
Question 1: for David Anderson, General Manager for Southeast Los Angeles, Think Together [10:14]
So many things are happening at the moment impacting student physical and mental health. What advice would you give families and educators to help young people feel connected to each other and adult allies in their life?
“Your best is enough.”
- Out-of-school time leaders were doing essential work before COVID-19 and continue to do so now.
- Acknowledge that our priorities have had to shift from academics to wellness and social-emotional well-being and that is ok. Young people should be reassured that “doing their best” right now is key.
- Communication and transparency among educators and adults are essential; checking in with yourself and others regularly must be a priority.
- Integrate strategies like deep breathing and mindful moments to staff meetings.
- Even with the increase of digital learning, there are opportunities, like e-sports, for young people to connect with each other that provide social-emotional benefits.
Question 2: for Diana Fernandez, Youth Representative, National Children’s Campaign [17:00]
As a youth organizer, what advice would you give to adults who want to help young people feel confident, supported and heard right now?
“It’s OK to be struggling right now.”
- All of us, adults and young people, are adjusting and balancing many things right now – work, activism, and learning – all while trying to feel a sense of normalcy.
- Even though adults are trying to support youth during this challenging time, they also need to acknowledge their own feelings of being overwhelmed, uncertain, and scared.
- Our situations are all different, and it may sometimes feel like we’re speaking different languages, but “we’re all doing the best we can.”
- Adults should know that young people do need support and reassurance to know that what they’re doing matters, we’ll get through this year, and everything will be OK.
- Having and building a support group is important. Adults should recognize a lot happens behind closed doors; asking how young people are and how you can help is key.
Question 3: for Kiara Battle, Director of Youth Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance [21:50]
America’s Promise Alliance report, The State of Young People during COVID-19, sheds light on how disconnected young people felt this summer. Tell us a little about the research and what resources are available to help foster the inclusion of young voices.
“Being a caring adult is cool... We have to check our adultism.”
- Since their school buildings closed, young people’s levels of concern about the present and future have increased, and indicators of overall health and well-being have suffered.
- An important reflection an adult can ask themselves right now is “Thinking about my high school self… how would I be doing during a pandemic?”
- We have to accept children aren’t going on as normal right now even if that’s the expectation. It is hard to focus on school when you’re worrying about staying healthy and paying bills.
- The increase in digital learning and social media doesn’t necessarily mean young people feel connected.
- Just because children can’t vote, doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions. Children need space for genuine meaningful conversations with caring adults. That conversation should be about the child, not the adult.
Use the resources below to bring these ideas to life.
More Resources to Explore and Share
5 Ways to Foster Social-Emotional Skills – Foster skills like cooperation and responsible decision-making in children and teens with simple practices from this one-page resource.
Sharing Our Stories: Family Conversations for Social-Emotional Health – Boost resilience and develop healthy communication by sharing stories across generations with these conversation starters and strategies.
At-Home Feel Good Plan – Help children and teens identify stressful feelings and address them with healthy, calming strategies with this step-by-step guide.
Family Engagement is Social-Emotional Health – Explore the key role of family engagement in fostering social-emotional health and learn strategies to effectively communicate with families in this 30-minute on-demand webinar.