LOCKDOWN is tough on us all but young people especially.
I see lots of parents worried about its impact on their kids and often hear things like: “He’s not himself at the moment.”
Many parents are worried about the impact of lockdown life on their kidsCredit: Alamy
Their lives have been turned upside-down, not seeing friends, grandparents and cousins.
Like us adults, they miss their social life.
Yet kids don’t have the same tools or resilience to deal with such major upheaval.
Young people are adaptable in many ways but this is hard.
We are seeing a crisis of low mood among youngsters and more struggling with mental health problems too.
There are signs all parents can watch out for:
If your child stops wanting to do things they usually love doing; if they stop finding pleasure in games they love playing or talking to friends.
Also, not wanting to go outside; spending more time in their rooms on their own; and sleeping more or less.
All these are potential warning signs.
For parents, the strongest indicator is gut feeling, instinct.
#You know your child better than anyone.
If you get a feeling they are struggling, they probably are.
The NHS’s Every Mind Matters campaign offers support and advice, as do charities such as Young Minds and The Mix.
One of the most important things parents can do is talk openly and honestly with their kids about what is going on.
Let them know it is OK to feel mixed emotions.
Share how you feel on a regular basis and encourage them to open up.
Let them know it is normal to sometimes feel worried, scared, angry and sad.
Reinforce to them these feelings will pass.
Try to answer any questions they have – and be ready to listen.
Value their opinion.
Get outside as a family and exercise together, even just for a daily walk.
It is good for physical and mental health, releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Get them involved in cooking, maintain a routine and keep life as normal as you can.
These are unprecedented and difficult times for us all.
Regardless of age, you will have good days and bad.
Dr Zoe says: ‘Try reducing their screen time and make sure they eat lots of fruit and veg’Credit: Olivia West – The Sun
Remind yourself, and your kids, this all will pass.
Brighter days are around the corner.
Together, and with your help, your kids can get through it.
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