Keeping school-aged kiddos entertained can be a new challenge to tackle, but teens and young adults also need support during this time. A fun, color-coded schedule might not be as effective for our older kids. Our older kids are having to sacrifice a lot of big events and milestones like proms, state championships, and other big events. This can take a major toll on mental health.
- Remind older kids how important social distancing is. Sometimes teens and young adults feel invincible. Help them get creative by connecting with their friends via free apps like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype (supervise these interactions to ensure your kids are only talking to people you know).
- Check in on your teen’s mental health. Ask them how they are doing, and really listen. Isolation can quickly lead to anxiety and depression. Answer their questions honestly and try to provide a sense of hope (this WILL pass even though it seems never-ending).
- Validate your older child’s feelings. It is a HUGE disappointment to miss sporting events, prom, and movie nights. Let your kids know you see and hear them and you’re sorry for what they are having to give up during this time.
- Support your teen’s physical health by helping them create well-balanced meals. While the occasional pizza roll dinner is totally fine, try to sneak some veggies and water in wherever possible.
- Encourage your kids to move their body. It can be tempting to sit and play video games 24/7, but try to engage your older kids in going on family walks and playing family games.
- Encourage your older kids to try to go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time. Going to sleep at 3AM and waking up at 1PM can really wreak havoc on a kid’s body clock.
- Give your older kids some power by allowing them to choose things that aren’t non-negotiable (outfits, snacks, games, etc).