FIRST INSTAGRAM DIRECT WITH ALMA SERRA, A REFERENCE IN EMOTIONAL EDUCATION

We started a new initiative yesterday through the Counselling & SEN Department and integrated within our Parent Schools,  which had a very positive response from our community of Parents and Students, surpassing 150 people connected at the same time.  We believe that it was very beneficial, especially in this time of confinement that we are experiencing.

Yago School has been able to adapt to the circumstances, and we thought that it was very convenient to be able to meet great professionals through our Instagram @yagoschool channel. We started yesterday with the intervention of a great professional in Emotional Education, Alma Serra.

Her talk came after five weeks of responsibly fulfilling the social distancing measures that has left families without leaving home, each with their own personal circumstances. This situation has caused us all to adapt in a forced way to a new way of life, and in many cases, it has caused fears, frustrations, anguish, or insecurities that we have had to deal with within our families.

Yago School always gives priority to the emotional aspect and Alma spoke about everything in relation to grief. Firstly, she addressed the feeling of social mourning shared by people of very different ages and social segments.  The management of this time we are experiencing can be very different in each family, depending on the family situation prior to the social distancing; if we start from a good base, good habits, a good family atmosphere, a solid relationship between parents or family references, previously established limits that generate a cordial relationship between all the members of the family nucleus, as well as the academic and emotional profile of the studentthen we already had a lot gained. In short, this situation is strongly influenced by the structure of the family unit.

Even starting from a good base, the situation is extraordinary and we must observe the signs that the children show. Some of the most common problems that can manifest themselves in such circumstances, may be the lack or difficulty in sleeping, changes in diet and lack of physical activity can also influence mood, so we must be attentive to them with special care these days.   

In addition, the age of our children also influences how they may be coping with this situation. It especially affects adolescents in the midst of building their social identity, in which physical contact with their friends and their environment becomes very important. On the other hand, it also affects babies and children in early ages who are afraid of the virus and this situation can be transformed into constant tantrums and anger. We can and should help them by establishing very clear and repetitive routines, and, of course, by talking a lot with them. We have to help them transform the fears and all the negative things they hear about this situation into positive things, making them discover the good things about this period and giving them hope by talking about things they want to do when this situation ends.

Alma told us how we should manage our emotions and those of our children. The main thing is to accompany them, to listen to them, to find moments of intimacy to talk about how the day has gone and how we feel, about our fears and anxieties and how to manage them. For them to be well, we must first control our emotions, discovering our “thermometer”with a sense of humor, the best medicine for emotions, and stopping so that everything flows well.

She spoke of some relaxation techniques that help to stop, think, relax, and express.  She recommends sensory massages to help become aware of our body, tapping on the K point (the outer part of the palm), while repeating “Although…(Negative situation), I choose… (positive, solution)”, interlacing the hands in the form of butterflies on the chest, placing one hand on the back of the neck, and another on the forehead. She suggested to watch the film “The Smurfs” and to ask the children in this situation how each of the characters would behave, to draw pictures, to write a diary or use photographs to express what we do and how we feel, always expressing what this situation offers us and what we can be grateful for. In this respect, we can make our kids see the importance of taking advantage of this gift of time that life has offered us, time at home, at another pace, with a close relationship with those we love the most. This opportunity to stop and reflect on the importance of the little things of everyday life takes on special importance for this deserving society with a well-established culture of doing and achieving things without stopping, which idolizes material things, as well as the easy and immediate. There is much good to be thankful for.

Following the Government’s authorisation for children under 14 to go out starting Monday, Alma warned that fears or apathy could arise. Her recommendation in this regard is that we respect the children’s pace, giving them time and security. We must anticipate the outings and explain to them what they will be like, talk to them about the use of the masks, and go on progressive outings. First, we should just throw out the garbage together and then extend the routes until they visualize that there is nothing wrong in the street and accept the walks normally.

Finally, she talked about going back to school. A common feeling among our students is looking forward to going back to their classes, seeing their teachers, and playing with their classmates. That motivation and that excitement, is the engine that keeps them active. That is the emotional motivation that helps them to generate good and necessary endorphins for their development and growth and, as parents, we must help them to keep their excitement intact. Teachers will be in charge of strengthening the curricular contents, but paying special attention to their emotions that must be reinforced from home.
We look forward to meeting you soon along with professionals who will inspire us on current issues. Don’t miss out!

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