Teens Tips with Alicia Drummond teen-tips-so-every-child-can-thrive 2 The Mews,
1- 2 St Nicholas Lane,
BN7 2JZ Lewes,
info@teentips.co.uk 01273093940

for schools & parents

School’s Out

Helping stressed parents through the school shutdown

At this very worrying time and parents may be finding home schooling, cabin fever and an impending two week break with nowhere to go, particularly challenging. In addition, isolation from the peer group is likely to be difficult for teenagers and parents should be particularly vigilant around those who might be vulnerable to mental health problems.

Here’s Alicia’s advice on supporting your teen:

  • Cognitive restructuring during adolescence leads many teens to think they are omnipotent and unlikely to be affected by the Coronavirus.  It is therefore particularly important to ensure they understand why guidelines need to be followed e.g. the risk of spreading infection to elderly relatives who may be more likely to develop serious symptoms.
  • Anxious teenagers will need you to be calm and considered when discussing the virus – explain that precautionary procedures exist to delay the spread of the disease which will help the health service cope.  It does not have a high death toll relative to other diseases but it is being carefully managed because of the potential impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods.
  • Protect grandparents from the virus by avoiding all physical contact unless they are isolating with you – thankfully technology allows us to keep in touch during this time. 
  • This is not a bonus holiday it is still term time so ensure a structured timetable for the day which includes time for learning, creating and exercise.  
  • Some schools are live streaming lessons and/or setting work but if your school doesn’t the IXL site has lessons for all ages and you can share the cost of a membership across your parent pod. 
  • Right now technology is your friend – encourage them to develop a new skill – learn piano on the Magic Piano app; coding with Raspberry Pi; try a new language with Duolingo;  digital art on Medibang or introduce them to photography and make a pinhole camera.  Spark creativity with the Dyson Foundation. We have lots of ideas in our blog here.
  • Involve them in household chores to encourage independence.  Learning to cook is a great life skill and creates opportunities to chat in a relaxed way.
  • Get out the cards and board games – for once in our lives we might all have time to stop and play. Current favourites are Monopoly Deal, Dixit and Racing Demon for card lovers.
  • Being confined to home may be stressful for everyone – taking time out for a little mindful meditation will help everyone stay calm – Calm or Headspace are good apps.
  • Allow time for social media and gaming which helps them stay connected with friends but have a screen contract in place to prevent overuse.

We hope our tips and advice help you through this 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 and Managing The Stresses Of Life – to support your child during adolescence and help your family during this very challenging time.

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