Children and adolescents often react in the same way as the adults around them.
When adults deal with an unpleasant topic, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with calm and confidence, they are providing them with the best support.
Parents can provide more stable support for others around them, especially for children, if they are better prepared.
Not all adolescents respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes you should pay attention to:
- Excessive worrying or sadness
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
- Irritability and inappropriate behaviours
- Avoiding school-related obligations
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- Avoiding activities he/she used to enjoy in the past
- Unexplained headaches or body aches
- Alcohol, tobacco or substance abuse
There are many things you can do to support them:
- Take some time to talk to your child about the COVID-19 pandemic. Answer their questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child can understand.
- Convince your child that they are safe. Let them know that it’s okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you cope with your own stress.
- Limit your family’s exposure to news, including social media. Children can misinterpret what they hear and may be scared of something they do not understand.
- Try to maintain regular routines. Make a schedule of work activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Rest, sleep, exercise and eat well. Connect with friends and family members.
- Explain to them that by protecting their own health, they are also protecting the health of everyone around them.