Advice for Middle Schoolers Feeling Anxious About the COVID-19 Crisis
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Middle schoolers are dealing with the emotional impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Beth Jacobson, NewBridge Services director of Community Response and Education, talks directly to tweens and young teens in this video. It’s good advice for parents too.
Even if your family is prepared, an outbreak can be very stressful. Following these recommendations can help:
Seek support and continued connections from friends and family by talking to them on the phone, texting or communication through email or social media.
Although you need to stay informed, minimize exposure to media outlets or social media that might promote fear or panic. Be particularly aware of (and limit) how much media coverage or social media time your children are exposed to about the outbreak.
Focus on supporting children by encouraging questions and helping them understand the current situation.
Talk about their feelings and validate these
Help them express their feelings through drawing or other activities
Clarify misinformation and misunderstandings about how the disease is spread
Provide comfort and extra patience
Check back in with your children on a regular basis or when the situation changes
Scheduling and Activities:
Even if your family is isolated or quarantined, realize this will be temporary
Keep your family’s schedule consistent when it comes to bedtimes, meals and exercise
Make time to do things at home that have made you and your family feel better in other stressful situation, such as reading, watching movies, listening to music, playing games, etc.
Recognize that feelings such as loneliness, boredom, fear of contracting disease, anxiety, stress and panic are normal reactions to a stressful situation such as a disease outbreak.
Help your family engage in fun and meaningful activities consistent with your family and cultural values.
(The information provided here is from the Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, www.NCTSN.org)
If you need help, contact NewBridge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-316-9333.
About NewBridge Services
NewBridge Services, a 501c(3) nonprofit, is a premier provider of counseling services, housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey serving 8,500 adults and seniors last year alone. NewBridge treats mental illnesses and addictions; teaches skills for coping with stress, grief and challenging relationships; builds and manages affordable housing; offers school-based programs that teach children and adolescents resiliency skills for healthy emotional development; helps young adults succeed in their education and prepare for careers; and supports seniors so they can remain independent. Throughout its more than 50-year history, NewBridge has remained true to its mission of bringing balance to people’s lives by tracking shifts in communities’ needs and providing innovative, effective programs to meet them.
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