Express Yourself! Supporting Development and Wellbeing of Children

By Kalin Goble, M.S.

Young girl happy on picnic blanket outside.
Pexels by Zen Chung, September 13, 2020, CC0

Celebrating our differences is a strength. But celebrating the things that make us stand out is often difficult for children and young adults. The roller coaster of finding themselves is in full steam ahead mode. And added “social expectations” now transcend the physical realm into the virtual world. TikTok, Instagram, and the immense matrix of social media platforms exist at our fingertips. Babies born at the beginning of COVID are now celebrating their first birthdays. And with the extra isolation and challenges, military families, youth, and communities have also been impacted in new, challenging ways. From babies to older adults, the added stressors of the pandemic are now integrally intertwined with each of our lives.

Being able to process evolving emotions and express ourselves is an important skill set to cultivate continuously at every age. Some of our upcoming network webinars are focused strongly on two main themes areas supporting childhood and youth development: emotional learning and racial literacy.

Helping children express their feelings in a productive, healthy way is vital to being able to communicate. Laying the building blocks to help children express and navigate their feelings are foundational skills that impact the development of healthy social and emotional capacities as young kids grow into adolescence.

Having conversations and communicating messaging on important topics like race is also another major part of daily life, especially so for families with young children.

  • In our next webinar with Sesame Street, Coming Together with Sesame Street: Resources for Racial Justice, we will be taking a dive into their Coming Together initiative. This suite of resources is created to increase racial literacy and understanding for children and adults. Sesame Street has also continued its commitment to meeting the needs of military families. Resources within this initiative specifically curated for them can be found on the Sesame Street in Communities website. These beautifully illustrated, collaboratively-created materials can help in building connections with the families you work with as they have these conversations around race and understanding everyone’s unique self. 

As we continue our conversation on the age-appropriate sexual development of youth, our upcoming SBCY webinars will focus on youth voices, the impact of social media on youth sexual behavior and relationships, and being a support to youth as they navigate this growth. A list of upcoming topics and webinars is available on the SBCY series homepage.

Each of these sessions will focus on strategies and approaches to incorporate in clinical work with families and children with the goal of nurturing strong social-emotional development. These are strategies and approaches you can use to help children establish, regulate, and process their emotions and feelings about themselves and the world around them. Join us for a live webinar to contribute to the conversation and let us know how these areas are reflected in your daily work!

This post was written by Kalin Goble, M.S., a member of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Learn more about us and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.