As a psychologist and school counselor, I worked with children for forty-two years. One of my greatest concerns about the consequences of COVID-19 is the impact on children, teenagers, and college students. Their lives have been totally disrupted, and they may struggle to understand why and how their lives changed overnight.
The most dramatic change has been not going to school. Thus far, two months have been lost of their school year with many of them having limited provision by some school systems to supplement with online teaching or some other type of teaching arrangement. Not all families have computers. Some of us can’t imagine, but many families struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Parents who still have a job and work from home also take care of children and if they are fortunate enough to have online education provided for their children, they have to manage all of these new responsibilities. For some families the stress is greater than ever.
For many families, they are grateful to have a break from work and be able to stay home for a while. Families are “trapped” in the house together and forced to figure out their lives in a new way. However, if the family is at all dysfunctional, the chaos can become much worse. Children can drive their parents “crazy” under the best of circumstances, but in the middle of this uncertainty the potential for emotional or physical abuse is heightened.
Here are some tips for surviving:
1.Don’t worry about the loss of two months of school. If you home school, do the best you can and don’t worry about it. Next year teachers will have to start where they left off this year.
Take the pressure off of yourself.
This is especially true for elementary school aged children.
Love them and have fun with them and enjoy this special time with them.
One day you will wake up and they will be grown.
2.If you have middle school, high school, or college age children and they have online school, do your best to encourage them to do their work;
however, it is impossible to micromanage their efforts. It is what it is, so be at peace.
3.Children need exercise if possible. Children need to play outside if possible. If your only option is to go for walks, then get out every day and walk.
4.Children with ADHA need movement and exercise. If they don’t have a chance to burn off extra energy, they will drive you and themselves “over the edge”.
5.Make the effort for children to connect in whatever way possible with friends. Many text and talk on the phone. Others play video games where they can hook up with friends. Or, if there is one best friend whose family has taken seriously social distancing, then make a way for them to connect in a safe way if you think prudent.
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Statements on the blog site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease nor viewed as personal medical advice, but rather for the purpose of general information. The reader is strongly encouraged to speak with his/her own physician or healthcare provider for advice.