Teens Tips with Alicia Drummond teen-tips-so-every-child-can-thrive info@teentips.co.uk 01273890635

Resources
for educators & parents

Is This Grief I Am Feeling? [How To Support Your Child’s Mental Health During Lockdown]

We are three weeks into isolation and the cracks are showing. Parents are telling me that they are not ok and many are concerned about the mental health of their children, both young ones and teenagers.  I think 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.

I think 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, I think 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.

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 I 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.

And so I think 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, focussing 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.

 

To support your child through adolescence and help your family during this very challenging time, you may like to know that we are delivering Live Online Talks for parents and teens – including Parenting During Isolation, First Aid For Your Child’s Mind, Teens & Screens, Developing Resilience in Children & Teenagers and How to Manage Worry, Stress & Anxiety.

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Other resources you might be interested in:

In The Press [The Sunday Times Magazine 24.5.20]

We’re so pleased to have collaborated in Lorraine Candy’s article in The Sunday Times Magazine 24.5.20 – ‘Family: teenagers who break lockdown rules need support not condemnation’.

In The Press [Interview With The Daily Telegraph]

Alicia was delighted to collaborate with Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, and the Daily Telegraph in this short film about the long term impact of Covid-19 on children.

Live Online Talks for Teachers, Parents & Teens

In the light of Coronavirus, we are hosting a series of Live Online Talks for pupils, parents & school staff, giving specific advice to help you through what may be a very challenging few weeks.

In The Press [Interview In The Guardian / Observer]

Alicia was so pleased to have contributed to this article in The Observer on conflict in families as a result of lockdown.

Facebook Live Coffee & Questions with Alicia

Join Alicia, Wednesdays at 11am for her Facebook Live Coffee & Questions and ask her your burning parenting questions.

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.

Teen Tips April 2020 Newsletter [Parenting Tips for Teenage Mental Health During Lockdown]

We’re offering so much support to families tailored to the current challenges that we are all facing – have a read of our April newsletter for all the details.

How To Keep Your Teenager Entertained During Isolation

There’s so much information on activities for your teen during isolation and here are some suggestions from some of our digging around.

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.

School’s Out

Helping stressed parents through the school shutdown due to Coronavirus.

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.

March 2020 Newsletter

Have a read of our March 2020 newsletter, with insights, tips and advice.

Canford and Port Regis Schools Join Our Online Programme

A large focus of our work is with schools, helping staff support the wellbeing of children so we are delighted to welcome these two new schools.