On March 19, Catherine Behrendt welcomed Greg Mallis, PsyD to discuss how parents can manage their own concerns and help their children navigate the life changes they’ve been asked to make during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Mallis shared some of the following tips.
How can we adults manage our anxiety?
Do limited research to stay informed, but focus on scholarly sources not just news media. Increased mindfulness can help you stay up to date without becoming obsessed. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make a list of what is and is not in your control
- Limit and schedule your updates
- Plan ahead and err on the safe side
- Make contingency plans for travel and childcare so you have a backup
- If you’re new to remote work schedule breaks, exercise, and time to connect with coworkers so you don’t feel isolated
- Consider a practice like adding a morning or evening meditation to rest your mind
How do we talk to kids? What’s appropriate?
- Start with letting them ask questions and answer as you can
- Don’t overload them with info
- Remember, it’s OK to say “I don’t know.”
How do we help kids feel safe?
- Be honest with them
- Focus on what you can control
- Give them opportunities to help and provide support
- Write letters
- Use Skype to talk with friends/family
Gregory V. Mallis, PsyD practices at Pine Rest Southwest Clinic. He attended the University of Indianapolis, where he received his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology.
Gregory enjoys providing therapy for young adults, adults, and couples. His clinical interests include relational issues, couples and marital therapy, depression/anxiety concerns, men’s issues, identity issues, stress management, and the integration of mindfulness practices for anxiety reduction.