Interview series with Elizabeth Lampert

The outbreak of COVID 19 has created anxiety and uncertainty, especially for our teens. During challenging times, teens want reassurance that they are safe, their families are safe, and the million-dollar question, “will things ever go back to normal”?

We sat down with Louis Lehot to discuss how he engages with his teens to maintain emotional stability during the crisis. Louis Lehot is the founder of L2 Counsel, P.C., and the video blog series #askasiliconvalleylawyer and the father of two beautiful teenagers.

He said, “Our children rely on us for safety and reassurance. They need to feel that you are there for them, and you’ll get through trying time together.”

Here are four tips from Louis Lehot to help your family through the outbreak.

Control Your Anxiety

Everyone is anxious. COVID 19 is the big unknown, and living with uncertainty isn’t easy for most of us. Teens have an uncanny sense of knowing something is off, that you are nervous and may internalize. Your anxiety, even if you try to hide it. So, do your best to work through your worries and fear.

Ask Your Kids and Ask What They Know

At this point, everyone, including your kids, has heard about COVID-19, particularly school-age kids and adolescents. They may have overheard you talking about it, and many are in alternative learning arrangements because of it. There is much misinformation out there. Ask your children what you have heard, their significant concerns, and what they are most worried about. COVID 19 is likely to be with us for a long time. As the eruption continues, your kids will hear a lot of information. Let them know you are available them 24/7 for questions or to calm their worries.

Feelings and Concerns Should Be Validated

The kid’s reactions to the COVID-19 is all over the map. Some may be realistic, while others exaggerated. If a grandparent is in a nursing home, they may have heard that the virus is hammering the elderly. You want to acknowledge and these valid concerns. Talk with children about any scary news they have heard.  Video chats can help ease their anxiety and, it is OK to admit people are getting sick, but try and reframe problems into solutions.  For example, handwashing and sheltering in place, your family will stay healthy and safe.

Provide Reassurance

Your kids have real fears about how you are your family is going to fair through this. Review prior situations in which they felt scared. Ask the kids if they remember that flood or when a tree fell on the car?” You’ve been through challenging times before, remind them of those times when everyone was distressed, everyone worked together and persevered.

Restrictions are relaxing, but many families are still home together 24/7, try and set aside some individual time with each child. Use this time to give them 10 or 15 minutes of your undivided attention each day. Communicate and use your time together to deflate the panic. We’ll get through this, together.

Elizabeth Lampert is a freelance writer, PR strategist, and savvy crisis communications professional.  She can be reached at [email protected].