Voici une liste d’outils validés empiriquement et approuvés par notre équipe pour vous aider, vous et votre famille, à traverser cette période difficile. Nous avons organisé les outils et les stratégies par thèmes, en fonction des principaux problèmes que nous voyons présents dans notre centre cette année. (La traduction de ceci en français est en cours).

Covid – impact on mood

  • This is the greatest collective stressor children have lived through. Here are the most important strategies for coping through this hard time
  • For younger children:
    • Talking to them openly about Covid while reminding them they (and you) are safe
      • A great tool is this Covid colouring book to educate more about the virus
      • How to talk to children about scary things
    • Keep them on a routine – young children thrive on structure and routine. I can be helpful to write up a visual calendar and post it in the house
    • It is ok to allow for more screen time than usual, just ensure they are also balanced with other activities. It is also important to note that not all screen time is created equal and perhaps passive screen time can be balanced with more active/interactive screen time
    • For emotion regulation and other coping strategies, please see below
  • For older children:
    • Keep them on a routine even if it is very flexible – allowing them some agency on what they do in each category (once school is over)
    • Slot times for:
      • wake and sleep times
      • meal times
      • school work in 30 min increments
      • physical activity
      • social time (VERY IMPORTANT)
      • exercise/movement
      • learn a new skill
      • screen time
    • It is ok to be more lenient with screen time – that is their main social connection at the moment
    • In the case of self-harm, parents may want to read this
    • In the case of suicidal risk, please call the distress centre at 613-260-2360
    • See handout on mental wellness and resiliency while coping with Covid
    • For any symptoms related to anxiety and for more ideas for emotion regulation and coping strategies, please see below

Self-regulation strategies.

  • Many children for whom emotion regulation does not come easy can greatly benefit from learning good regulation skills. To do so, they must practice them over and over in moments of calm so these strategies are accessible in moments of high emotional distress
  • Some ideas include:
    • build a « chill out zone » and include items like fidgets (stressballs, glitter jar, fidget cubes, putty, bubbles for breathing etc.) see www.fdmt.ca for good quality fidgets
    • building self-regulation skills such as by trying to adopt a daily daily meditation and mindfulness practice such as though apps like Insight Timer and Calm. Research shows daily meditation (even just 10 minutes) to be as effective in reducing anxiety as anti-anxiety medication in some patients
    • For younger children (ages 4-9): see Mindmasters (put out by CHEO) https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/iecmh.aspx#Mindmasters-2


Parenting Teenagers:

  • Great books for parenting teenagers:
    • Trust me, Mom – everyone else is going!: the new rules for mothering adolescent girls
    • Breathe Through This: Mindfulness for Parents of Teenagers by Eline Snel
    • How to talk so teens will listen and listen so teens will talk by Adele Faber (2006)
    • Now I know why tigers eat their young: Surviving a new generation of teenagers by Peter Marshall and Barbara Coloroso (2007)
    • Get out of my life but first can you drive me and Cheryl to the mall by Anthony Wolf (2002)
    • Screen-Smart Parenting: How to Find Balance and Benefit in Your Child’s Use of Social Media, Apps, and Digital Devices Paperback by Jodi Gold MD (2014)


  • The key to treating anxiety symptoms is to learn coping strategies first and then put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable or that you would normally avoid (called exposures). Avoidance actually makes anxiety worse over time.
  • With anxiety, it is important to do the exposures gradually (i.e. rate how anxious something makes you and try to stick to the 3-4/10) to expose yourself gradually to events that make you uncomfortable, so not to be flooded with anxiety
  • With children sometimes anxiety manifests itself behaviourally
  • The first step is to help children label their worries, so they learn they have control over them (you can even give the anxiety a name)
    • « ah there are my worry thoughts again playing tricks on me, telling me to be scared when I am safe. Go away worry thoughts! »
  • Shield anxious children from the news
  • Use self-regulation skills described above, especially daily mindfulness meditations
  • You can use a “worry jar” where the child writes out their worries and put them in a jar, then once a week sits with a parent and reads them out during “worry time”. It can be very helpful to schedule worry time
  • Books for children and youth:
    • What to do when you worry too much by Huebner (a workbook for 6-12 year olds)
    • 101 ways to conquer teen anxiety: simple tips, techniques and strategies for overcoming anxiety, worry and panic attacks
    • The anxiety survival guide for teens: CBT skills to overcome fear, worry & panic
    • The app Mindshift and anxietycanada may also be valuable resources
  • Books for parents:
    • Freeing your child from anxiety: powerful, practical solutions to overcome your child’s fears, worries, and phobias by Tamar Chansky.
    • Please see handout on anxiety here

Webinaire sur la peur des aiguilles/vaccinations (en français)

Low self-esteem/confidence

  • Encourage your child/teen to take on leadership roles at home
  • Ask your child/teen for assistance in planning meals and special activities
  • Spend one-on-one time with your child/teen on a regular basis
    • Kids could benefit from child directed play while your teen may appreciate you hanging out with them. Teens often open up when they don’t feel rushed or forced to have a conversation and when parents come at the conversation from a stance of curiosity and non-judgement.
  • Books:
    • The self-esteem workbook for teens: activities to help you build confidence and achieve your goals

Body image/disordered eating

  • Book and workbook recommendations:
  • Specific books on disordered eating:
    • When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating by Lauren Muhlheim
    • Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method
    • Off the C.U.F.F.: a parent skills book for the management of disordered eating
    • I’m, like, SO fat: helping your teen make healthy choices about eating and exercise in a weight obsessed world
    • The parent’s guide to eating disorders: supporting self-esteem, healthy eating, & positive body image at home


  • In the case of separation/divorce, children can be quite resilient. The key is for parents to develop a more business-type relationship and to decrease conflict in front of the children
  • Please see the Children’s Bill of Rights (by Robert Emery)
  • Books:
    • Two Homes, One Childhood by Robert Emery http://emeryondivorce.com/
    • Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap: Essential Parenting Skills When a Child Resists a Parent by Moran & Sullivan
    • Overcoming the Alienation Crisis: 33 Coparenting Solutions by Moran & Sullivan