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COVID-19 Resources for Parents & Youth

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​How to support children and young people

Family-specific resources​

Activities and Wellness for Family and Youth

Tips for educators and parents

  • What should I do?
    • Get educated!
      • Know and disseminate the facts about COVID-19
      • Read about how to talk to your kids (see a list of vetted article below) 
    • Follow good infection control practices
      • Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after contact with others, as well as after touching public surfaces
      • Keep surfaces clean/sterilized to the best of your ability
      • Know what needs medical attention and what doesn’t
      • This is a great opportunity to model a calm approach to a challenging situation. If age-appropriate to your child(ren), you can invite them to research with you, and practice washing hands together. 
    • Recognize and control your own anxiety
      • Anxiety is contagious; kids can feel it
      • Use some of the below resources that can help you manage anxiety
    • Don’t assume you know what young people know. Ask them. And then validate their fears and concerns
    • Cultivate empathy and focus on helping
      • Remember that many people have already gotten sick and died of the illness
      • Think about those at highest risk from the virus–generally, those with weak immune systems, including people who have had an organ transplant, cancer, HIV, the elderly, etc.
      • Don’t focus on trying not to get infected yourself, but think about how you might unintentionally infect others, and behave accordingly. For example, did you know that in many Asian cultures, masks are worn primarily to prevent infection of others?
    • Resist generalizations and blame; consider intervening when you see/hear hurtful incidents or comments
      • If someone you know makes a racist comment, you could consider expressing surprise or confusion, or asking them to explain themselves. You could also say, “The virus may have started in China, but now it doesn’t see color or race”; or, “Viruses can start anywhere. H1N1started in the US in 2009 and spread throughout the world but no one called it the ‘America virus’ or imposed travel bans on Americans.”
      • This article provides helpful guidance on how to respond to microaggressions
      • Intervene in a way that feels safe to you. If someone is being verbally or physically aggressive (e.g. on public transit) and you don’t feel comfortable directly intervening, you could get off at the next stop and notify transit police.
    • Encourage your institutions to make a statement that appeals to core values
      • These can be embedded within larger institutional communications, e.g. about remote work policies, cancelations, etc.
      • Some examples of these can be found in the resource list below
    • For educators
      • Learn about online learning platforms
      • Get educated about specific issues affecting more vulnerable students, including low-income and international
    • Remember (courtesy of courtesy of Giuseppe Raviola, MD MPH with support from Marissa Henn, DrPH)
      • Things will get better eventually, and back to normal. The world is not collapsing (DOn’t go “catastrophic”)
      • Most people are good, and people are going to perservice and help each other
      • You’re tough, you’ve overcome challenges before; this is a new one
      • This is a particularly strange and unprecedented situation; humor helps once in a while;
      • If having obsessive or compulsive thoughts related to the virus, or related uncertainty, wash your hands once, and then remind yourself that anxiety is normal in this scenario. But the mind also can also play tricks on us. Try to breath and move the internal discussion on. 
      • Live in the moment, think about today, less about the next three days, even less about next week; limite thinking about the next few months or years, for now. 
    • Caring for your emotional and mental well-being during COVID-19 (courtesy of Giuseppe Raviola, MD MPH with support from Marissa Henn, DrPH)
      • Exercise & Physical activity, daily if possible
      • Use technology to connect with friends & family
      • Positive family time, working to counter negativity
      • Focused meditation & relaxation
      • Limited exposure to television & internet news; choose small windows & find ways to cleanse yourself of it, too
      • Clear routines and schedule, 7 days a week
      • Learning & intellectual engagement via reading, limited internet 
      • Remember the things that you really enjoy doing, that you can do in this situation, & find a way to do them
      • Some alone time, outside if possible
      • Bathe daily, if possible, to reinforce the feeling of cleanliness
  • How to manage your anxiety 
    • Recognize the dialectic between acceptance and change—what do we have control over, and what don’t we?
    • Recognize that some anxiety under current circumstance is normal, and likely adaptive
    • And regardless, you can’t just stop your feelings—but, you can change thoughts and behaviors
    • Talk to others
    • Limit exposure to 24/7 news cycle and social media (anxiety is also contagious)
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