Beach Cities Health District, in partnership with our Student Mental Health Provider Task Force, hosts the virtual "Talk About It" Small-Group Parent Workshop Series. This series supports families at home as they navigate distance learning and help create balance for students and parents. Marina Braff, LMFT facilitated this workshop on June 11, 2020.
During June’s “Talk About It” Small-Group Parent Workshop, Marina Braff, LMFT discussed ways parents and caregivers can best support their child(ren) through missing milestone life events and major transitions from elementary to high school and post-grad.
Top 5 Tips for Helping Your Teen Cope with Missing Milestone Life Events (adapted from Supporting Seniors: Navigating loss, frustration, and uncertainty)
- Acknowledge the loss: Senior year in high school is something we all look forward to. Prom, grad night, and graduation have been idealized as coming-of-age milestones. It is completely normal and valid to grieve the loss of such experiences.
- Recognize the uncertainty: May 1, seniors had to commit to the university they would be attending. Imagine the anxiety of making such a large decision in uncertain times. There are many questions seniors may have that we do not have the answers to. It is important that we allow teens space to ask questions.
- Make space for the feelings: Besides loss, many seniors are feeling frustrated that this is happening to them during their senior year. They are upset that their final summer at home won’t be “normal.” Listen and honor their swirling emotions. Seek additional support as needed.
- Embrace novelty: While this pandemic can trigger anxiety and sadness, encourage your teens to try to find the joy as well. Whether that is spending more time with the family, learning life skills before college, embracing a hobby, or just being able to relax, remind them that this kind of worldly pause likely won’t happen again in their lifetime. Take advantage of it!
- Remind them that this isn’t forever: Let’s be honest – we need to remind ourselves of this, too. For seniors, remind them to think past this pandemic period. Encourage them to think of how they will make up for this time once they are on campus and what kind of experiences they want to have.
Please find the recording of this session, as well as more “Talk About It” resources and events, at bchd.org/talk.