COVID-19 Information for Members
Help Youth Cope with Quarantine
This is a difficult time for young people because independence and looking toward their future is a normal part of their development. But they are being asked to stop socializing and cut their education short by physical distancing. You can help by talking to them about what they may be feeling.
Here are some key tips for talking to youth
- Understand that this is a difficult time for them. Many students will have to cancel their plans for the rest of the school year and maybe even skip graduation. Acknowledge the loss and talk about ways they can make up for it when things get back to normal.
- Understand that there will be some friction due to unmet social needs. They may express frustration that some of their friends continue to meet in small groups because their parents allow it. If you are practicing physical distancing, as you should, refer to what experts are recommending in California to support your decisions. Also be open to allowing youth to meet their friends outside of the house as long as they stay six feet apart from each other. Youth may want to use social media to interact with friends. It’s OK to continue setting rules about social media so that it does not interfere with their schoolwork and family time.
- Allow them to have their private time. It is OK to allow them to spend time away from family or in their room if needed.
- Keep lines of communication open. Sometimes they will want to talk. Ensuring that you are there for them when they need to talk is a good strategy.
- Emphasize the importance of physical distancing. Since young people are reportedly not getting as sick from COVID-19 as the older population, they may not understand the need for physical distancing. Remind them that we still do not have all the information regarding who gets sick from this disease. Also remind them that they are part of a greater community, and it is up to them to respect the needs of their community by practicing physical distancing for others’ safety.
- Ensure they practice good hygiene. Make sure they avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, and that they frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.