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How To Support Your Child’s Mental Health During Lockdown

We are starting to see an increase in Covid restrictions again and the cracks are showing. Parents are telling us that they are not ok and many are concerned about the mental health of their children, both young ones and teenagers.  We are in a period of collective mourning with many of us grieving our loss of certainty, of social interaction, of familiar habits and routines.  We want our old lives back and we want it now.

It is helpful to understand that grief is a process which will see us going through a number of stages. Unfortunately, it is not linear so we can’t tick the box once we have moved through a stage, and there are certainly no timelines to it.  This said, we can gain a sense of relief if we understand what is happening, explain it to our children and give ourselves permission to fully experience our feelings.

Teen Tips Parent Child Mental Health

The Kublor-Ross Grief Cycle includes five different stages:- DENIAL (this virus won’t affect us); ANGER (how dare it ruin our lives like this); SADNESS (I am really missing my friends); BARGAINING (if we accept three weeks isolation then it will be fine?), ACCEPTANCE (it’s happening).  Scott Berinato, who worked with Elisabeth Kublor-Ross when she developed this model, has added a sixth stage, MEANING, which we like because it builds optimism. What is the meaning in this experience? Perhaps it is the big wake up call we needed to realise how quickly the atmosphere improves when we reduce air traffic. Perhaps it is the realisation that relationships are so much more important than possessions and that it is possible to maintain those relationships despite social distancing.  Perhaps it is the opportunity we have to help our children develop those all important soft skills.  Finding our meaning and helping our children to find theirs will increase feelings of optimism and build our resilience.

It is helpful to understand that our children may well be spinning through the grief cycle and feeling all of these big emotions but they might not have the awareness or maturity to process them.  They need help from us in the form of an empathic, listening ear and reassurance.   See if you can work out where they are and talk to them about it.  Explain how in times of huge change and stress it takes time for us to adapt but we can help ourselves by talking about our experience, focusing on the things we can control, looking for the positives, keeping life in balance, establishing some form of structure to our days, exercising and sleeping well and if all else fails hang on to the certainty that this will pass and perhaps our new norm will be something to celebrate.

More resources are available on The Wellbeing Hub

To support your child through adolescence and help your family during this very challenging time, you may like to know that we are delivering monthly parenting webinars and resources. 

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Other resources you might be interested in:

The Importance Of Hugs For Self-Esteem & Wellbeing In Adolescents with Alicia Drummond

As our children enter adolescence, they will start to reject things which seem childish to them, and that may include our gestures of affection.  As parents we generally accept their rejection of childhood toys and interests but struggle when we are in the firing line. It is a sad day when a previously affectionate child pulls away from a hug or shuts down your expressions of love. For parents, the loss of intimacy can feel devastating, but what we sometimes fail to appreciate is that even though they are the ones doing the rejecting, they will experience a sense of loss too. In celebration of National Hugging Day, we discuss the importance of hugs for the self-esteem and wellbeing of young people.

Coping with Omicron Uncertainty with Alicia Drummond

The past twenty months have taken their toll on the wellbeing of so many people and the last thing we all needed was more uncertainty and drama, but here we are, Omicron is with us, and life has become unpredictable once more. We share our tips on how to support your children and cope with the uncertainty of life with the new Omicron variant.

In conversation with Emma-Jane Taylor On Teens & Mental Health

Alicia went onto the Emma-Jane Show’s podcast to discuss all things teens and mental health. This is a very open and honest conversation about recovery, resilience and Alicia’s journey to where she is today. 

Family Meals

In this blog, we consider the advantages of eating together as a family – something we have all apparently been managing to do more often since lockdown.

Talking About Race And Ethnicity With Children & Teens

Following the horrific death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have been asked for advice on how to talk to children and teenagers about racism. 

Online Grooming & Radicalisation [how to spot the signs and what to do]

With young people online more than ever, those who would seek to influence, radicalise or groom them via social media and gaming will be busy. Find out how to support your child and help them stay safe.

Free Listening Sessions For Teens In Particular Need Of Support

We are working with some wonderful therapists across the country and some are offering two free, half hour emergency sessions to teenagers who might be particularly struggling.

How To Talk To Your Child About Coronavirus

A pandemic can be a scary time for parents and children alike. So here are some pointers for keeping young people calm and holding a panic-free conversation about Coronavirus.

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