May 4, 2020 Monday Message

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 9.13.08 PMMay 4, 2020

May greetings from your virtual Parent Resource Center (PRC). We hope things are going well, and although we’ll miss seeing you in person this month, we also hope our paths will cross virtually. Kelly and Kathleen are reachable by phone at 703.228.7239 or at

We were delighted that so many of you were able to join us for last week’s “Webinar of the Week” to learn about NOVA. Many thanks to our colleagues and to the NOVA team who made the evening such a terrific success.

This breezy, beautiful, blustery day reminds us that many of us are wondering how to safely navigate the outdoors with children as the pleasant weather beckons, so here are 7 Tips for Going Outside with Your Child During the COVID-19 Pandemic from Harvard Medical School.

Our friends at the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Division have also compiled more fun and safe things for us to do outside and at home while practicing social distancing on their Recreate at Home page, including:

  • Spring Tree Play Dough
  • Learning at Home with Bugs
  • Simple Gardening Ideas
  • Go Bananas Dance
  • Travel to Mars!
  • Mystery Sensory Box
  • Board Games with a Twist
  • Take a Virtual Trip of Versailles
  • StoryTime with Arlington Officers
  • TP Rolls Haircuts
  • Try Origami
  • Travel Virtually to National Parks
  • Make Your Own Ice Cream
    and more!

As a reminder, there are many helpful resources on APS’ Mental Health Resources page. Also, our colleagues at Arlington County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) have shared the following message:

Mental Health Awareness has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Our current challenging time presents an even greater need to raise awareness about the importance of Mental Health, specifically the importance of children’s mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. Did you know:

    • 1 in 5 young people in the United States has a diagnosable mental disorder, but fewer than 1 in 5 get the mental health services they need.
    • There is hope! The treatment success rate for children’s mental health challenges is 80%.
    • Mental Illness does not discriminate and can impact even those closest to us.
    • It is important to reach as many people as possible in sharing information on mental illness and resources for treatment.

In Arlington, DHS is a key contributor in increasing awareness to the Arlington Community to include schools, courts and partnering agencies. We recognized early on in our current pandemic that mental health awareness and support is critical to children, adults and families, especially those who may already be struggling with depression and anxiety. We also recognized the harsh reality of those experiencing new trauma through isolation, abuse, deprivation and neglect.  In response, a DHS Community (caregiver) Support Workgroup was formed to plan and implement weekly virtual sessions for the community to receive support and resources. Lastly, we have transformed our May events to a virtual platform.  These events include weekly presentations on a developmental topic, a film screening, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) online training series.  Information for these events and a virtual Mental Health Awareness Walk are coming soon. Mental health matters! Your voice and action matter in creating a resilient and empathic Arlington-strong community.

Mental Health First Aid:
The American Red Cross is offering a free online only Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 course during the pandemic. This course is designed to help individuals build resilience, support themselves, and lend support to others during and following the COVID-19 outbreak. The course length is estimated at 60 minutes. The topics covered in the course include:

  • Recognizing Stress in Adults, Teens, and Children
  • Practicing Mental Health First Aid
  • Caring for Yourself
  • Supporting Your Family
  • Supporting Yourself and Coworkers at Work

The website for more information and to register is:

Late-Breaking Webinars
More webinars will be included in our Webinar Wrap-Up later this week, but a few events of interest happening soon include:

ADHD and Executive Function: Is the CEO of Your Child’s Brain Sleeping on the Job?
May 5, 2020: 11:00am (Eastern Time)
Is your child or grandchild struggling in school? Does he or she have problems: getting started and finishing work; remembering and turning in homework on time; memorizing words or multiplication tables; losing and forgetting things; being disorganized; being late and procrastinating? Well, guess what….it’s not just laziness or that students aren’t trying. These are all executive function skills that are lacking in many children including those with ADHD, learning disabilities, and autism. Join well-known author, speaker, and publisher Chris Zeigler Dendy who will talk more about executive functions and how to help your child or grandchild cope with these challenges. Specific strategies will be discussed to address each of these deficits in executive function skills.
Presented by the Alabama Parent Education Center
Register here

Raising Kids Who Thrive During COVID-19: A Virtual Panel
May 6, 2020 12:15 PM Eastern Time
 (US and Canada)
Every parent longs to protect their child from harm and disappointment, but the realities of COVID-19 remind us all how little is truly in our control. While we can’t shield our children from every threat, we can empower them to grow stronger and overcome adversity with a growth mindset. In this virtual panel, five leading professionals will gather online to discuss…

    • The difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset—and why children with a growth mindset thrive
    • Simple steps you can take to nurture a growth mindset in your child
    • What to say (and what not to say) to boost your child’s confidence when they need it most
    • Strategies for raising children who persist in adversity, seek help when they need it, and embrace challenges as opportunities to learn

Panelists: include Maria Zimmitti, PhD, from Georgetown Psychology; Allison Sibley, PhD, from The Sibley Group; Steve Harner, PsyD, from Child and Family Associates of Greater Washington; and Sara Weiser, OTR/L, from Good Beginnings Therapy
Register Here