SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company that offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties, including pediatrics as well as mental and behavioral health, recently hosted a free webinar offering positive parenting advice amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The webinar aimed to aid parents in knowing the signs of mental health issues and identifying resources to help children navigate mental health issues they are experiencing.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic began, SAMI-Aid has seen increased demand for telehealth behavioral and mental health services, both for adults and juveniles,” said John Farhangui, CEO and Founder of SAMI-Aid. “This webinar in our Health Bites series was aimed towards helping parents manage their own stress to help them in dealing with the challenges their children are facing.”
Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., a board-certified child psychiatrist with Bay Area Clinical Associates, offered a variety of tips to parents, including:
- Manage your own stress. Kids see stress in their parents and internalize it. An effective way to manage stress is by getting enough sleep, making healthy dietary choices, getting regular exercise, spending time safely with friends and family, and participate in activities that you love.
- Challenge negative thoughts. Do not dismiss fears of a child, but do not accept them either. Parents can help children navigate negative thoughts by asking simple questions, such as “If your fears happened, would it be the worst thing in the world?” or “Are you sure that will happen, or could it turn out a different way?” Coping statements like “You can handle this,” and “This will pass,” can also help.
- Positive parenting starts with effective communication. Praise is a powerful way to show support for your child and encourage good behaviors. It is also important to employ empathic listening. If you do not understand why your child is behaving a certain way, sometimes it is best to ask them directly.
- Keep a consistent schedule or routine. It is absolutely okay to have free or spontaneous time for kids to be creative or do other activities, but it’s also important for kids to have a routine or schedule which they know will be followed. Work together to come up with family rules, including privileges and consequences, so that children fully buy in to the house rules.
- Balance screen time within reason. With online learning, communication, and activities, it can be challenging to determine an appropriate amount of screen time for your children. Watch for changes in your child’s behavior related to increased screen time to evaluate if a screen time diet should be considered.
- Do not forget to have fun. During stressful or challenging times, schedule fun activities and family time. These activities do not need to be extravagant; they can be simple such as watching a movie together, taking a walk, going for a drive, or cooking a meal together.
The full Positive Parenting webinar can be viewed on SAMI-Aid’s Facebook page. As an additional resource, SAMI-Aid created an infographic to help parents understand important information about childhood mental health including data on how prevalent the issue is in the United States, signs to watch for that may indicate a mental health disorder, and how parents can help their children. The infographic can be viewed here.
SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties, including pediatrics as well as mental and behavioral health. SAMI-Aid’s mental health professionals are highly vetted, licensed, and certified in various areas of mental health expertise. For more information, visit sami-aid.com.
Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. For more information, visit sami-aid.com.