Coping Skills for Youth
How are you feeling? We just wanted to check-in and ask how are you feeling? Last week we offered some red flags to look out for during in your children, family, friends, and even yourself. This week we would like to provide you a few coping skills you can utilize everyday.
Not all youth will experience the same changes, so please use this only as a guide. If you feel that your child is having mental health issues, please contact his or her physician or mental health services. During this pandemic, many doctors and mental health facilities are seeing patients via tele-health. This is not a substitute for mental health diagnosis or treatment. This for informational purposes only. Additional resources are listed below.
As simple as it sounds, simply talking to your child can help. Reassure any fears he or she has. Let them know that their fears are valid. Do not make them feel silly for being afraid. They need to know that we are all in this together, and experiencing this for the first time.
Many children are just scared because they do not know what to do. They feel better if they understand what is happening and what they should do. Be honest. Tell them the things that you don’t understand, but try to work with them to create a plan of action: - What do we do if mom or dad gets sick? What if he or she gets sick? - What if a friend or family member gets sick? - Since we cannot visit them at the hospital, what can we do to help? - What do we do to protect ourselves? Help your teen/child answer all of these questions to the best of your ability.
Get creative. Plan a family game night with another family via FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or some other video chat feature. Have your teen “race” a friend by both going for a three mile bike ride around their neighborhoods and comparing their times. Give them increased screen time for time with their friends. Even consider “private” screen time, if the computer is in a shared space so that they don’t feel that everyone is watching them talk to their friends. Of course, certain rules still apply, but let them have some hangout time.