Portage’s Mother and Child Program recognises that a parent’s issues with drug addiction can put a stressful burden on a child, which may affect his health, development, and relationships. In order to do more for the well-being of the family unit, the counsellors and specialised child care educators at the Mother and Child centre will soon be following an intensive training on stress management for preschool-aged children.
The Psychology Foundation of Canada’s “Kids Have Stress Too!” training program will equip Portage staff members to be able to better detect signs of stress in the children in treatment and, through various activities, teach them stress management skills.
The three elements of the training program are:
1. Prevention (identifying the signs of stress);
2. Reduction of symptoms (stress management); and
3. Resolution of problems (dealing with stressful situation as they arise).
Through games, visual supports, and music, among other tools, the trained staff members will be better equipped to work through the causes and consequences of stressful situations frequently encountered by preschool-aged children. Portage counsellors will be able to help the mothers in treatment to detect stress in their children and to give them a sense of empowerment to be able to better manage it, while Portage’s specialised educators will be able to help the children learn to do so on their own.