Raising Positive Children Delivers COVID – Relevant Message


Screenshot taken from Raising Positive Children Livstream; posted on youtube and available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUxeua3hqM


  Raising Positive Children, a Charter classic, is a speaker series that’s now on its seventh installment. Up until now, multiple speakers have joined the City of Pembroke Pines to cover topics that are extremely relevant to children and parents at Charter. This includes dealing with mental health, stress, and even the digital world. 

   This past Wednesday, March 9th, experts on mental health, Dr. Scott Poland–a psychology professor at Nova– and Dr. Elizabeth Hilsman–a licensed psychologist– joined city commissioner Iris Siple and West Campus principal Michael Castellano to present tips and information on teen mental health and the impact COVID has had on them. 

   Previously, Dr. Poland has participated in the Raising Positive Children series twice, as well as in mental health webinars with Nova, which charter parents were invited to. 

   This was the second time the Raising Positive Children series had to go virtual, and was streamed on YouTube. Parents joined by watching the speakers’ presentation through a livestream, as opposed to meeting in the City Center to hear a live presentation, which would happen under normal circumstances.

   These abnormal circumstances, and their impact on teens’ mental health, was the main focus of Wednesday night’s presentation, a topic of great concern for parents during this time. Specifically, Dr. Poland touched on what teens may be feeling and experiencing right now: feelings of failure, a lack of motivation, and anxiety. 

   He started the presentation by providing parents with a helpful acronym: C.A.L.M, which stands for calmness and control, available and alert, limiting COVID news, and modeling of coping and management, a parenting strategy that would help kids during this challenging time. 

   Throughout the entire presentation, Dr. Poland and Dr. Hilsman made sure to emphasize that parents were the ones in charge. They encouraged parents to take responsibility by making an effort to talk to their children, ask how they’re doing, and to pay attention to any red flags that may signal depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. 

   They ended the presentation by driving home the same message one last time, and also provided mental health resources that parents and teens could use, such as the National Suicide Hotline, and 211 Broward. 

   Finally, principal Castellano asked the experts questions that were sent in by parents, which touched on social interaction during COVID, and the ways in which signs of mental struggles may present themselves differently from teen to teen, based on personality and other factors. 

   This installment provided parents with invaluable information and advice on coping with the pandemic, and helping their kids cope with the pandemic. Perhaps one of the most relevant presentations from Raising Positive Children, it was truly a night to remember.