Teens Tips with Alicia Drummond Teen Tips Logo info@teentips.co.uk 07957418126

for educators & parents

School’s Out

Helping stressed parents through the school shutdown

At this very worrying time, parents may be feeling anxious about schools and colleges closing.  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 forming a childcare pod with other families.  This prevents teenagers becoming isolated.  Keep it as a closed group so that if anyone becomes ill the spread of infection is limited.
  • This is not a bonus holiday it is still term time so create a structured timetable for the day which includes time for learning, creating and exercise.  
  • Some schools will live stream lessons and/or set 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. 
  • If your child is sitting GCSEs or A Levels, now is the ideal time to study – see our tips on revision.
  • 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.
  • 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 be interested to know that Alicia is running some Online Talks for Parents and Teens in the coming weeks to help everyone during this very challenging time. You can find details and bookings here.

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date on our latest insights, guidance and tips

Other resources you might be interested in:

Live Online Talks for Parents & Teens to Help You All Through This Challenging Time

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

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.

Sleep Matters

Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and depression so with cases of adolescents with sleep disorders on the rise we need to tackle this situation.

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.

Teen Tips on Exam Stress

The pressure to perform has never been so great as it is today and, alarmingly, statistics show that rates of self harm and suicide peak in the exam season. Find out how to support your child and bring a sense of balance to the exam process.

Teen Tips on Revision

We all know how easy it is to keep putting off tasks that bore us. The same resistance is felt by many children at revision time. Find out how to help them break things down and crack on.

March 2020 Newsletter

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

Understanding Eating Disorders

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and with an estimated 1.25 million people living with an eating disorder in the UK it is helpful to know what we can do in terms of prevention and support.  It is useful to begin by understanding what an eating disorder is and what it is not.  

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.

Mental Health Blog Post

Alicia has written a special blog post explaining mental health and mental illness, how to spot the signs of mental distress and what to do to help. She’s also recorded it as a podcast here on our Resources page – do have a listen.

Teens & Body Image

Helping your children develop a positive body image is perhaps more difficult now than it has ever been in this “compare and despair” culture, fuelled as it is by social media. We share tips on helping your child develop a healthy body image.

Top Tips For Hosting A Teenage Party

Is your teen desperate to host a party or gathering with their friends? Don’t stress – we’ve put together some Top Tips to help you plan and manage the party so you can provide the right environment for a happy event.