Schools have canceled the academic year. Businesses have shuttered their offices. And now you’re stuck at home with your teenage kids—24/7!
How can you avoid getting on each other’s nerves and turn this pandemic into an opportunity for family growth? Try these 7 strategies to help you—and your teens—get the most out of this time together.
7 Ways to Help Your Kids Thrive While Staying at Home
1. Get moving.
At school, teens often have PE or play team sports. But without an organized athletics schedule, they may be tempted to curl up in their room with their phone. Getting active together with a fast-paced walk around the neighborhood or an indoor sweat sesh can help boost moods, decrease quarantine stress, and alleviate coronavirus anxiety.
According to a 2019 review of scientific research appearing in Current Sports Medicine Reports, physical activity can be as effective as antidepressant medication. In part, this is because exercise can increase activity of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Another way to promote serotonin balance is with Serotonin Mood Support.
2. Start a book club at home.
A great way to connect with your teen is to choose a book the whole family will read. Considering that anxiety, stress, and depression are soaring due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, opt for a book that can help you overcome worry and negativity.
Great selections from BrainMD’s founder Dr. Daniel Amen include his latest bestselling book The End of Mental Illness and Stones of Remembrance (available free on Amazon). The latter is a quick read and contains soothing Bible verses for when you feel anxious, depressed, or stressed.
3. Write a quarantine journal.
We are living in historic times. Encourage everyone in your family, including your teen, to express their thoughts, feelings, fears, and ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) about quarantine life in a journal. Think of this as a way to capture a record of this unprecedented era that you can look back on decades from now.
An added bonus is that the act of writing down your ANTs helps get them out of your head. You can also find a fun exercise on our BrainFitLife site that helps you learn how to kill the ANTs that infest your mind.
4. Make self-care a priority.
Chances are, you and your teen have always been too busy to devote much time to self-care. Now, with more time in your schedule, it’s a perfect opportunity to teach your teen the importance of self-care.
For example, starting a meditation practice can be beneficial for cognitive function, stress reduction, and moods—all of which will help you cope with sheltering at home. Check out some meditation audios to help you get started.
5. Start a group project.
Crafting home-made face masks, cleaning out closets, or doing a jigsaw puzzle together—group projects help everyone feel like they’re on the same team. If your family thrives on friendly competition, make it into a contest.
- Who can make the most masks in an hour?
- Who gets the creativity award?
- Who can get rid of the most stuff from their closet?
6. Set personal goals.
Use this time to encourage your teen to think about what they want out of life. Be a good role model and show them how to set goals for their relationships, school, career, and health.
This is a very powerful exercise because when you tell your brain what you want, your brain will help you get it. Write goals on a sheet of paper or use the One Page Miracle exercise.
7. Learn new skills.
Take advantage of time at home to learn something new. Whether your teen wants to learn how to play the guitar or use a new software program like Photoshop, there are many apps that can help.
If you want your teen to learn how to love and care for their brain, sign up for our Thrive by 25 online course. It’s been taught in all 50 states and has helped thousands of teens and young adults learn how to improve brain function and performance.
The following content was originally presented during a special Facebook Live event by Dr. Daniel Amen. Click here to view the full video.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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