Dear Brave Ones:
Of course, we’re scared. That means it’s the time to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves and others.
Can you imagine how scared our kids are? Their routines have been disrupted and they miss their teachers and friends. They have less control over their lives than we do!
We have a special opportunity here to demonstrate how to deal with stress or what to do when we are overwhelmed and need to ask for help. This situation could actually build resilience skills in our kids.
Being as emotionally present as possible and staying connected heart to heart can ease their anxiety level and perhaps ours. Being transparent about the way we are dealing with our own anxiety can also pave the way to supporting each other.
Emotional connection in our relationships eases fear and anxiety. Here are some practical hints that may create an environment for connection.
1.) Set up routines.
Set flexible routines as quickly as possible since dependable order can facilitate a sense of calm.
2.) Be realistic about homeschooling.
Emergency homeschooling is not intended to substitute for regular school. It does not need to be the equivalent of an 8-hour day. The role of teaching or even supportive home learning packages should not be allowed to become primary in your relationship with your child. You are their parent first, resource teacher second.
3.) Invite your teen to get back to nature.
The natural world is the best antidote for isolation and can prevent depression. Get outside as a family. But also encourage teens to get outside by themselves. Walking the dog is a great reason to greet the outdoors.
Choice-making is the antidote to feeling trapped and powerless. Give tweens and teens as much control or agency in their own lives, as possible. If they can exercise healthy control over their own lives, they will feel better.
– What type of pizza should we order for the family?
– Which chore do you want to contribute today?
– I have to go to the grocery store, only one of us should go in and I know how you hate grocery shopping, would you drive me so I can organize the grocery list? (Assuming your teen drives.)
– Maybe we should get out of ourselves and help the older neighbors. What do you think about mowing their lawn?
5.) Connection eases fear and anxiety.
You can ease their fear through connection. Try engaging them with open ended questions or statements of invitation to check in with your kids about how they are doing. Here are a few to try.
– How do you feel about your school closing?
– What do you miss doing with your friends?
– I know you’ve heard the news about the virus, what do you think about it all?
– What are you most afraid of?
Open-ended questions or invitations communicate, I’m here. I’m listening. They encourage your tweens and teens to open up. The truth is, our kids are longing for us to give them our undivided attention about their fears and anxieties.
But stressed teens can manifest their distress in excessive screen time, argumentativeness, complaining, defiance, disrespect or isolating to name a few. Don’t be afraid to share that you both may need help and support for working through some of your feelings and issues.
If you are worried about the way your tweens and teens are responding to recent events and you need help dealing with it as we all do from time to time, reach out for support. There are many more things you can both do to ease anxiety and one of them is to work with seek supportive resources and work with a coach. You can…
A.) Get my award-winning book, How to Raise Respectful Parents. It can serve as a Shelter in Home Communication Guide.
B.) Schedule your FREE Back on Track assessment by booking a call on through my website. https://LauraLReagan.com
Helping teens and parents make respectful communication breakthroughs is one way I express my mission.
Love and light,
P.S. Don’t forget to join our Back on Track Facebook Group. There will be some surprises soon.
Click here to read more about Parenting Teens.
Good ideas to use. I haven’t had a conversation with my teen to see how he feels yet. We homeschool so there is not a lot to transition to, but we miss co-op and getting together with friends.
Hey Leiloni, sharing how we feel about missing friends can help teens share their feelings too. Stay safe!