Health & Wellness Resources
- Parenting Advice
- News & Screen Time Guidance
- Student Well-Being & the Intersection with Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity
- Quaranteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters
- How to Help Teens Handle the Loss of Prom and Graduation
- Helping Teens Make Room for Uncomfortable Emotions
- Dear Anxious and Stressed Friends, Here Are The Two Most Powerful Skills We Can Be Practicing Right Now.
- Supporting teachers and young adults during the coronavirus crisis
- How Parents Can Coexist with Disappointed and Restless College Students
- Needing Attention and Crying For Help on Social Media
As physical distancing and stay-at-home orders continue, many families have asked us about opportunities to meaningfully connect and process this pandemic from student health, well-being, diversity, equity, inclusivity and social justice lenses. The Burroughs Health & Wellness and DEI offices (on behalf of the Community & Equity Partnership) are sharing a few options with hopes you will share your ideas as well.
Beyond the conversation prompts and questions, many of the resources we are offering come from an even more comprehensive list created by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).
Using this image, consider the following questions:
- What do you think about this image?
- Does this image accurately describe the range of human experience during this pandemic?
- Which individuals and groups might we most find in each column?
- Why do you think the individuals and groups you identified exist in each column?
- What social, political, and economic realities and systems contribute to or keep individuals and groups in a position of being privileged, marginalized, or destitute?
- How do you think our country and the world will get through this crisis/pandemic?
- What is one thing we can do [control] and one thing we can influence to get through this pandemic?
- If you were in charge, what would you do differently about this inequality?
Scaling questions: Consider how the first five questions open up easy, non-judgmental awareness that engages your teens about perceptions of their health, well-being and perspectives in this current pandemic.
- If 1 is your least desirable experience or position during this pandemic, and 10 is the most desirable, where would you rate yourself right now?
- Where would you like to be?
- Have you felt like this before?
- What helped you change your number?
- What would it take to get from a (e.g., 6 to a 7)?
Following the five question model above, you might consider…
- What is your stress level from 1 - 10?
- How happy do you feel from 1 - 10?
- How safe do you feel….?
- How worried are you about your grades...?
- How worried are you about your family, grandparents…?
- How connected are you feeling to your friends…?
Beyond these types of scaling questions, consider following up with other open-ended questions. For example…
- What do you miss most about your independence?
- What’s most surprising to you about how you feel right now?
- What is the first thing you will do when the stay-at-home order is lifted?
- What are you enjoying doing that you didn’t have time for before?
- What would be the best thing to come out of this pandemic/crisis?
- How are your friends feeling?
- What are you doing for your own self care?
- How can I support you better?
Helping Teens Grieve the Loss of Their Rites of Passage
Rites of passage mark a young person's journey through adolescence. The ceremonies and celebrations are often in the spring. Performances and proms, championships and final projects all showcase growth, learning and accomplishment. And, of course, there is graduation.
These important ceremonies that say “Look at you! You are growing up! We are so proud of you!” have been canceled, leaving kids with no closure. Rites of passage have vanished into thin air. Even as they feel grateful for their health, and sorry that the world is suffering in the way that it is, Generation Z feels cheated. Their losses are tangible to them. And so they are grieving. To help them process and work through this grief begin by acknowledging their feelings. You can use these questions to open up a conversation:
- How do you feel about missing…
- What were you most looking forward to about ….
- What can we do to still mark your accomplishment/this occasion?
You can also share with your child the ways you were looking forward to celebrating their accomplishments/special milestone, and what you might do to make the occasion in a different way.
Use the “Name It” Technique
Helping teens identify what they are feeling can, ironically, ease their pain. This is the “name it to tame it” technique. Research shows that when we label our emotions, we are better able to integrate them. If your adolescent starts telling you a story about an imagined future—perhaps bringing up worst-case scenarios in which they aren’t able to go off to college—gently bring them back to what they are feeling right now, about the current disappointment.
See if you can demonstrate that you appreciate their difficult feelings in a simple phrase or two. For example, “I understand that you are super sad that your first real art show was canceled. And you’re mad that every day seems to bring a new frustration and disappointment.” Then, throw in a little empathy: “That’s just plain hard. I totally get why you are angry and sad." Adapted from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu
RACE & XENOPHOBIA
Missouri Hospital Association: The Disproportionate Impact of Covid-19 On Black and African American Communities in the St. Louis Region
JBS Community & Equity Partnership Panel: Invisible to Visible: Coronavirus and the Inequities It Reveals
Teaching Tolerance: Speaking Up Against Racism Around The New Coronavirus & How To Respond To Coronavirus Racism
Forbes: The Science of Why Coronavirus Exposes Racism and Xenophobia
NPR: Code Switch: The Very Best Code Switch Episodes For Kids
NPR: Code Switch: When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus
KFF: Communities of Color at Higher Risk for Health and Economic Challenges due to COVID-19 Embracerace: The racial impacts of COVID-19 & COVID Resources that Take Race Seriously
National Association of School Psychologists: Countering COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers
American Library Association: Libraries Respond: Combating Xenophobia and Fake News in light of COVID-19
GENDER & DISABILITY
NPR: The New Coronavirus Appears to Take a Greater Toll on Men than on Women
UNWomen.org: In Focus: Gender equality matters in COVID-19 response
Forbes: 5 Things To Know About Coronavirus And People With Disabilities & The Disability Community Fights Deadly Discrimination Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic
COPING WITH LOSS & GRIEF
American Psychological Association: Grief and COVID-19: Mourning Our Bygone Lives
Psychology Today: Necessary Self Care During COVID: Working Through Loss
Grief Speaks: Cultures and Grief (overview of grief practices in different cultural groups)
Shiva.com: A New Grief: Staying Connected to Help-COVID 19-Coronavirus
MORE COMPREHENSIVE & ACTION-ORIENTED RESOURCES
The Opportunity Agenda: Talking About Coronavirus: Centering Language around Inclusion, Empowerment, and Justice
Making Caring Common: Harvard's research and development initiative aimed at teaching and supporting children and young people to care about others for the common good
Center for Urban and Racial Equity: COVID-19 Equitable Response Community Commons
American Counseling Association: Trauma and Disaster Mental Health Resource Page