How to talk to your kids about stress

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TALKING WITH KIDS ABOUT FEELINGS with Ganel-Lyn Condie.

Adults may also be struggling to put words on all the feelings that come with COVID-19, earthquakes, plans cancelled, racial tension, politics. So, how can we give space and facilitate connecting conversations with our children during high vulnerability? Follow the tips below.

For younger Children

  • Color/play/swing
  • Ask for a high and low of the day
  • “Do you have any questions about things you have heard people talking about or on videos?” Please know you can ask anything!

Teens

  • Listen, don’t try to fix things.
  • Don’t take it personally if your kids don’t want to talk right away. 
  • Relate personal experiences from your own “teens years” where you navigate global issues, vulnerable news stories. Share how you adjusted and felt. Don’t hold back when you were scared, stressed, uncertain.

Young Single Adults (baby Adults)

  • let your kids struggle and let them know you are there (it is ok to experience confusion, failings, wrestles)
  • listen more than talk
  • ask what they think (this age is where new opinions are forming). It may differ than parent’s opinions, political views, biases. Try to invite their ideas.

And don’t forget the inspirational Mr. Rogers quote:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. ‘”

Let’s be one of our kid’s helpers by giving permission to talk about emotions.

More on Ganel-Lyn here: www.ganellyn.com

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.

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