The Intentional Pursuit Podcast

  • The Intentional Pursuit logo

    In Vestavia Hills City Schools, one of the key beliefs of our district is that succeeding is an intentional pursuit. For more than fifty years, this belief has challenged our faculty, staff, and community as we work to provide Learning Without Limits for every student. Our podcast, The Intentional Pursuit, features conversations with Vestavia Hills City Schools leaders who are working in an intentional pursuit of excellence.

    Click each episode title below to listen.

  • Episode 1: Social-Emotional Support

    by Brooke Wedgworth and Whit McGhee Length: 21:35

    In this episode, Brooke and Whit explain the meaning behind the name "The Intentional Pursuit" and discuss social-emotional support for students with VHCS Director of Student Services, Jennifer Bailey, and VHCS Student Assistance Counselor, Anna Gaston.

    Pandemic Parenting Tips

    • Encourage Routine and Structure
    • Validate Emotions
    • Model How to Manage Feelings
    • Communicate Honestly
    • Model Self-Care
    • Build Community

    Encourage Routine and Structure

    • Parents can find and establish their “new normal” and stick to it.
    • Families can identify a daily schedule that includes school, work, play, and self-care.
    • A daily schedule helps reduce anxiety and creates a sense of safety and consistency.

    Validate Emotions

    • Validation lets your child know that you are listening and trying to understand their feelings and point of view.  It is allowing your child to express their thoughts and feelings without judging, criticizing, or ridiculing them. 
    • When a child expresses a feeling such as fear or anger, validate their concern and help them work through that feeling. Explore ways they can cope with the feeling.
    • Helpful validating statements: “It sounds as though you are feeling ….” ; “What I hear you saying is..”; 

    “Is there any part that I’m missing or not understanding well enough?”

    Model Coping Skills and How to Manage Feelings

    • Engage children in activities like mindfulness, exercise, and yoga to show them how to self-regulate and, in addition, to provide family “chill” time.
    • Allow children to see ways older siblings and parents cope with stress in healthy ways
    • Talk with children about things they enjoy that will help them reduce stress.

    Communicate Honestly

    • Correct inaccurate information and reinforce basics.
    • Encourage questions and curiosity, and provide direct, honest answers.

    Model Self-Care

    • Self-care is not a luxury. Poor mental health management in parents increases child stress and reduces resiliency.
    • Encourage breaks, individually or as a family.
    • Get regular exercise and sleep, and eat a healthy diet that includes nutritious fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
    • Give yourself opportunity for connection with someone who can listen to you, a trusted friend, family member, or a counselor or therapist. 

    Build Community

    • Distance physically but not socially
    • Encourage constructive and beneficial virtual interactions.
      • Children can help less computer-savvy family and friends set up and participate in virtual hangouts. 
      • Encourage a media plan that keeps in mind how much screen time students are already spending for academics but also acknowledges the need for social interaction.
    • Accept and ask for help from friends, family, schools, and community resources. 
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