Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan hosted a Zoom meeting on Jan. 21, titled “Helping Your Girl Thrive During COVID-19,” which focused on how parents can help their children during the pandemic.
The meeting started with Brenna Smith, the Communications Manager for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan introducing the three panelists to the 48 attendees.
“We hoped to portray to parents of parents of girls that they are not alone and that many girls are facing challenges as a result of the pandemic. Girl Scouting is a wonderful outlet for girls to navigate through the challenges of the pandemic together, alongside lifelong friends,” Smith said.
One of the panelists was Patti Criswell, Ph.D. Criswell, a faculty member of the Health and Human Services department at Western Michigan University.
Criswell spoke first and focused on the stress and emotional effects that children may be experiencing during the pandemic. Anxiety, depression, weight gain, mood swings were some of the effects that Criswell discussed.
Criswell explained ways to combat the side effects of living through a pandemic such as eating healthy, sleeping the right amount of hours for their age, reading, taking a walk, and more.
“The very best thing that you can do for your kid, is monitor your own stress. They need a lot of reassurance right now, but they need a lot of skills too. Empowering parents to take care of themselves, in as much as we can, get through this, loving each other well,” Criswell said.
Another panelist was Jan Werbinski, who is a retired certified obstetrician/gynecologist and certified menopause provider.
Werbinski focused on the medical aspect of the pandemic, explaining to the audience how it is important to understand that the pandemic can not only have the mental and emotional effects on them, that Criswell explained, but that the pandemic can have physical effects on Girl Scouts. Werbinski said that although children do not contract the virus as much as adults do, that they can be a carrier of the virus.
The final speaker was Jan Barker, the Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, who presented information on the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s website. Barker made the audience aware of virtual events coming up, that Girl Scouts and their families may attend and look forward to.
For more information on Girl Scouts and upcoming events, visit their website.