Helping teens cope with isolation in social distancing

Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:39:09-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Give your teenager a break.

"They really lost something with social distancing. at this age, peers are so important."

Clinical psychologist Dr. Tricia Haynes, also a professor at the University of Arizona's College of Public Health, told KGUN9 about resources for parents to help their teens cope with isolation.

"We decided to go ahead and develop some resources for parents and also for teens."

She says a toolkit is available online that offers tips, like maintaining the same sleep schedule your teen had during the school year.

"School start times typically are pretty effective at helping us keep things on track but without school it's really hard to have a limiting factor," Haynes said.

"See if there's ways you can set a consistent morning wake time that can help your body get re-timed and back into that regular schedule."

Another tip: not to discourage your teen from using their phone, but using this time and that device to teach them something.

"With my 13-year-old, one of the things we just learned was how to deposit a check electronically. Something that we had never done before, but it's an opportunity for kids to learn new things that are required for adulthood."

Dr. Haynes said it's important to empathize with your teen right now, isolation can be difficult for them to handle.

Parents can ease the stress but encouraging them to stay in touch with their friends to maintain some level of socializing.

"Really encourage kids to do things like call, or talk, or FaceTime which are little bit different than just texting."

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