(The fourth entry in our advice series to help us get through our current predicaments in one piece.)
One of my more laid-back, extremely competent, parent friends recently posted the following on Facebook:
Part of my day was spent chasing her around the apartment as she ran into different rooms to hide as a way of getting out of one of her morning video calls. I eventually got her to participate but also had to agree to buying a chai latte.
Other parenting friends confess to locking themselves in closets, moving up the cocktail hour, being comatose during Zoom meetings or forgetting them completely. One pleaded with her boss for time off, another’s kid kept hitting his arm with a keyboard while he was on a job interview. A lot of them admitted that they’ve let out a primal scream at some point in their day.
Which leads to the fourth question in our Covid mental health series answered by Robert Oliva….
What’s the most important thing I can do to help kids manage their stress level?
There are many things you can do to help your kids manage their stress levels during the pandemic, starting with remembering to take care of yourself. Breathe, reach out to others, find time to meditate, exercise, and make sure to sleep.
For younger children:
· Maintain a daily routine, including bedtime.
· Address your child’s fears.
· Connect with other parents and teachers.
· Monitor social media use.
· Be extra loving.
· Foster healthy eating and activity.
For teens and young adults:
· Empathize with their frustrations.
· Explain the need for social distancing, etc.
· Plan tasks to do together.
· Talk openly with them about their concerns.
· Stay calm in the face of rejection.
· Be positive about the future, college, jobs, etc.
Parenting during the pandemic is a unique experience. Be easy on yourself. Do your best. Seek help if you need it.
Read more about how to maintain your mental health, improve your diet and increase your fitness at Robert Oliva’s site, Transform Your Life.
And be sure to check out the other questions in this series: