Let’s be patient with our kids y’all. They may be struggling daily and hiding it from behind a computer 👨💻 screen. They’re doing something none of us ever have. Pandemic fatigue is real and so is the fatigue of virtual learning.
Here are some tips for helping kids with managing the stress they may be feeling right now:
1. Give your eyes a break: let your eyes wander, look above the screen or camera instead of at it, or get blue light glasses so you’re not straining when you are looking at the screen.
2. Hydrate 💦: we can mindlessly be on our devices to the point that we neglect our basic needs. Drinking water throughout the day can help you stay alert but also physically feeling okay. It’s a simple need we often neglect when we’re distracted
3. Take breaks: get up and stretch when you can, stand outside and breathe in the cold air to let it shock your system, splash cold water on your face or take the time to eat a snack
4. Know when to say no more: our kids are not robots and they can only do so much. If you think your kid is burning out or on the brink of a breakdown, help them step away and encourage self monitoring behaviors (ie if they’re feeling tired or frustrated, that’s a sign it’s time to walk away and do something to cope or get a much needed break). Help kids learn how to prioritize rather than cram by using hard copy materials like post it notes, planners and color coded materials so they can decide what has to get done today v. what they can move to the next day. This helps prevent burnout.
5. Encourage them to talk to someone: if you find your teen is struggling emotionally right now due to the social disconnections and loss of normalcy at this time, have them speak to someone, including you! The more open we are with our kids and the more encouraging of vulnerability by way of communicating our truths, the more unified we can be with our kids and foster resiliency at the same time.
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