By this point, most (maybe nearly all?) teens are either in their homes or at work. Nothing else. With the world events, it’s normal and typical for kids and teens to feel scared and anxious.
Our younger generations need us, and that’s why I am writing this blog. Have you asked yourself about how your children feel? Or even the kid/teen next door (if you don’t have children).
Think about those who are actually graduating this year. How do they feel? For them, there are many life moments that they simply won’t get to participate in. Grieving these lost moments is completely understandable.
It may not be obvious sometimes, but the young ones who have friends, school or sports teams are being affected emotionally from the social distancing. They can begin to feel grief and disappointment as the events like prom and graduation become canceled. We have all felt let down at one point, and it is not a great feeling.
Growing up is a special time and supposed to be lighthearted (mostly). Currently, it’s quite the opposite and devastatingly heavy. How can parents of teens help their kids cope with traumatic events outside their control, such as we are experiencing now?
Breaking the News to Teens
Most parents will begin to feel anxiety after seeing the sadness of their children/teen. Here are some tips to make these situations better:
- Check your own emotions. Try a grounding exercise to stay calm and practice deep breathing.
- Make sure to make them feel comforted. Be there for them as much as you can during these times and let them know that they are not alone.
- Find the silver lining. It is normal for kids to feel these negative emotions, this will help them learn to deal and cope with it.
- Listen. Let your children vent to you and simply lend an ear to them.
- It’s ok to not be ok.
- Be their teacher. Even if you don’t know anything about math, give it a go. And, be sure to give the kids breaks, exercise and nutritious snacks that will give them energy for their online classes. Create a schedule!
- Get support from outside family and friends. Have Grandma teach them math or science via video call. Have your best friend read them a book via video or FaceTime.
- Keep connected, have a family video call or family dinner. For those who are separated right now, connection is very important! There are so many apps out there, have you heard of house party?
- Keep up with activities. Make up fun educational games (there are so many videos and tutorials online). Now that they can’t kick a ball around with their friends, take the opportunity and use that backyard for a fun game of kickball.
- Let them help. Chores or cooking, either one won’t do them any harm as long as you are supervising and educating them with your home necessity knowledge.
- Look online for live videos, such as a zoo, museum, a national park, rent books online.
Important Note: With the increase of video and zoom classrooms, this is also a time where hackers get in. Put in protections, passwords, lock/close the zoom call to outside, monitor what your children/teens are looking at since most of their time is online.
About Peek Counseling
Take a deep breath and do not worry! If you need someone to talk to, you can count on Peek Counseling for your mental health needs. You and your children are welcome.
I am currently seeing all counseling clients via telehealth sessions. Click here to email me about the schedule. Remember to stay safe and take all the precautions to avoid this disease of the year. Take this time to come closer to your family and bond. Hang in there, you got this! ~ Katie Bisbee-Peek