CHADD's recent article on helping teens understand and cope with quarantine illustrated some great strategies for parents.
1. Allow them to vent. A lot of what teens are experiencing is frustration and they will need an outlet for those negative emotions. Validate their feelings. Share how you are feeling.
2. Have them move on. It's healthy to let things out as a release, but then they have to move on. This process could occur weekly, daily or even several times per day. More regular small releases could be easier than a periodic blow-up.
3. Help them with their schedule and activities. Sometimes its hard for us to see outside of our normal routine and the things we are good at. Exploring new hobbies and activities can be challenging (and hard to start) at first, but ultimately can be very rewarding.
4. Explain the broader context. Children don't follow the news closely and they are also susceptible to fake news on their social feeds. Take time to keep them apprised on the real facts. Explain how those less fortunate are impacted. Explain how care workers and service persons are impacted.
5. Uncertainty is a part of life. Although COVID-19 is an extreme situation, we face uncertainty in normal life and we need to be able to adapt.
6. Make check-ins normal and regular. The more often you can do an informal catch-up, the better. As a parent, you have to straddle the line of being "annoying" to the child, but the goal is to improve communication and to normalize sharing.
7. Seek professional help if needed. Whether it's for ADHD/Executive Functioning or mental health issues, there are now expanded options for telehealth treatment during COVID-19. Telehealth is now widely available and the rules for insurance coverage and delivery requirements have been relaxed with many providers and insurance companies.
8. Use this time for SAT / ACT prep. Test prep can be really difficult during the school year. There is homework, sports, extracurricular activities and lots of distractions. Now is a fantastic time to start a SAT/ACT prep regiment to get the scores you want. Contact us for more details! (214) 444-3431.