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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.

Advice for Families:

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 services@newbridge.org or 973-316-9333.

 

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