Ask any parent on the street about their hopes for their children, and through the various answers it will boil down to this one truth: they want the best for their children. This may be why, according to Pew research, more than 50% of all parents are worried about their children struggling with depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, research backs them up. CDC reports that 7.1% of children are diagnosed with anxiety, not reflecting the countless children who never receive a prognosis.
The Happy Spots Approach
Teaching your child how to manage their emotional wellbeing is key to fighting the current mental health crises and setting them up for long term happiness. Happy Spots is an easy-to-use program that teaches a series of visualization techniques. They uniquely empower young people to personally take control of their emotions by using tools they’re naturally equipped with, such as imagination and physical energy, all while emphasizing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) techniques.
Pro tip: While your child may have SEL programs in school or therapy, developing those same skills at home is key to ensuring they become lifelong habits.
Routine: The Happy Spots exercise takes approximately 15-20 minutes, making it a perfect way to start the day or a relaxing lead in for a good night sleep. Building this practice into your child’s daily routine will teach them to use their newly developed skills during other high stress moments throughout their life.
Why is SEL important?
Many studies have shown that social-emotional learning techniques provide many benefits for children, so much so that it has become a learning standard.
According to a brief by Penn State, the benefits include:
-Emotion regulation skills
-Greater likelihood of a stable career
-Strong social skills
-Reduced risk of experiencing substance abuse
The Happy Spots Program includes:
- 5 poly spots to help practice the different stages of the exercise
- A selection of visualization chips to initially help participants choose a scenario to visualize
- A manual designed to help parents guide children through the exercise
- Phrases and motions to help children better learn the exercise
- Optional: A Big Life Journal to help children further explore their emotions
- Gives children lifelong tools for taking charge of their state of being.
- Utilizes different learning modalities.
- Beyond acting as a solution for trauma and anxiety, it also helps build necessary social skills.
- Does not rely on external support: After students are taught the program, they can practice it by themselves, wherever they are, essentially putting them in the driver’s seat.
- Helps create a sense of calm and can interrupt cycles of trauma.