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BLOG:Managing stress in young people

It's a difficult time for young people.  The world feels 'different' and so worry about the future and simple changes in routine can be scary!  When children feel worried, stress causes hormones to wreak havoc on their emotions and sometimes they may react in a way you're not expecting or that's out of character. 

Our Senior Nurse Andrea Whitworth has some advice for parents of our younger pupils as we navigate this strange time! 

Stick to a routine 

Structure is probably more important now than its ever been. Your children will have a set structure from their class teachers, but try and ensure that meal times and bed times stay at a similar time too. 

It's good to talk

Your children may not want to talk about COVID-19, or they might have lots of questions. Take time to talk it through - bedtime is usually the time that lots of questions get asked! Taking a few minutes to allay fears or to explain things through may mean they will get a better night's sleep. 

Manage their exposure 

It's a good idea to limit their exposure to news and social media. It's difficult for younger minds (and older ones too sometimes!) to understand that everything they read or hear might not be accurate. Let them know you'll help them find factual information if they need it. 

Engage them in tasks 

This could be making dinner, hanging out washing or any other useful task! Unoccupied minds can become hyper-sensitive to stimuli - both positive and negative. Keep their minds focused on a goal and away from things they are not able to influence or control.

Keep connected

Your children will undoubtedly be missing friends and family. These emotional connections are really important, so schedule in some time for them to to stay in touch, whether that's via video chat, phone call or text. 

Finally, be good to yourselves mums and dads! This is a strange situation for everyone and we will all make mistakes. Be kind to yourselves and accept that you can't do everything! 

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