SALT LAKE CITY –The “Hold on to Dear Life” program turns 30 this year, with efforts to keep children safe around cars, water and more. Now they are adding an emotional and social component called Talk to Tweens.
“It’s simple, actionable tools, just like the rest of “Hold on to Dear Life.” Things like listening to your child, [and] encouraging them to name and accept their feelings,” said Jessica Strong, Community Health Manager, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
Strong says parents are the first and best resource to help their tweens navigate the emotional and social challenges of growing up. This program is for parents of kids in grades 6 through 9.
Look at this Emotion Wheel you can use to help your tween name their emotions as they navigate growing up. Newly released today from @Intermountain @primarychildren Hold on to Dear Life program at https://t.co/e7bkDPMQe7 pic.twitter.com/2AXHSqQueJ
— Mary Richards (@kslmrichards) August 25, 2020
“Talking about emotional health might be an uncomfortable topic for some. But starting small, and having frequent conversations, will build confidence for parents and tweens alike,” said Tammer Attallah, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and Pediatric Behavioral Health Community Services Director, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
Talk to tweens
The hospital launched the program today at TalktoTweens.com.
Attallah is a father of a 13-year-old himself.
“I’m reminded every day of how we need to interact and actively engage with our children, about our emotional awareness,” he said.
Doctors and social workers are hoping to help parents of tweens in Utah navigate the emotional and social challenges of growing up.
Experts say those middle school years can be tough, and they need parents who listen and help.
“Talking with your tween about social and emotional health can be hard. The more often you have these conversations, the more comfortable they become. The first conversation won’t be perfect; that’s ok. The important thing is that you keep trying; this is not a one-time conversation,” the site says.