DAM IT, Children’s Mental Health Matters! CEI’s Dr. Pamela Thompson (PhD) and Shelley Landis (LCSW) on The Power of Relationships & Environment
Children’s Health and the Power of Relationships & Environment
Windrose’s Shelley Landis (MSW, LCSW) explains that, “Relationships and patterns of attachment in early childhood determine what our relationships will look like in adulthood. We know that social and community supports help children by allowing them to have relationships that are loving, engaging, encouraging, and supportive. The average child needs 5-7 positive adult figures in their life. This might be a teacher investing in them, a community health worker, a mentor, a therapist, or a coach. The more positive interactions they have and the more they feel listened to and validated, the healthier they’re going to be overall.”
Children’s Health Day with Pamela Malone Thompson
The relationships children have with supportive adults constitute one part of their overall environment. While we understand the significant impact our surroundings have upon our children’s future health, what can be done about it? Dr. Pamela Malone Thompson is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for software company InfraWare, Inc, and Country Liaison for Childhood Education International, but Pamela wasn’t always so successful. She understands the relationship between our environment and our well-being because she has experienced many environment-related hardships personally. Hear her story below!
“When we care about someone, we care about their environment too. However, all kinds of things affect our environment–social media, news, tv, our friends/family, home and school…there is so much room for kids today to get ‘swept away’. Just as a dam redirects the energy and flow of water, we sometimes need to control the environment of our children, setting the currents so that the child has a good probability of growing, learning, and ‘winning’. When we use metaphors talking about things like ‘making waves’, ‘rocking our boats’, etc…we sometimes need to ‘dam it’, and put certain controls in place.”