teen with skateboard

Tips for your Teens & Tweens: Coping with Stress & Learning at Home

Being a Tween or Teen can be tough when life is normal.  With the restrictions due to COVID-19  it is even harder. Many important milestones, in the lives of youth, have been altered this spring. Many activities have been cancelled: graduations, trips, driving lessons, sports, clubs, etc.   Socializing and gaining independence are very important for teens and tweens.  Youth may resist help and routines suggested by parents.

Future events can seem so far away for teens because they have lived fewer years than adults.  The current social distancing measures seem, to me, to have been going on for a long time.  Image how it feels to be a youth! They do not even know what they can look forward to in the months and the year ahead of them.  There is a certain amount of grief that comes along with the loss of activities that youth have been looking forward to. 

Grief contains many emotions: sadness, feeling low, feeling unmotivated, weepiness, hopelessness, irritability, and anger. These emotions and their intensity are different for everyone.  Adding the shift to distance learning can cause even more stress.  Some youth will be struggling to understand and explain what they are feeling.  

The link below will take you and your teens/tweens to an online presentation (from April 2020) where a local highschool student talks about what students are going through during COVID-19. She hosts a local professional tutor and a local highschool child & youth worker. They give suggestions for ways to stay focussed while learning at home, and how to deal with stress.  They share resources that teens and tweens can access. 

Please contact info@ldawc.ca, or 519-837-2050 if you need help accessing the video or have questions or need resources.  

The video is presented by Big Brother, Big Sisters of Centre Wellington, Youth Action Committee: BTogether Talk Series. 

young adult in office board room

Learning Disabilities & Employment

Adults have learning disabilities too!   So much of our focus is on supporting children and their families through the academic challenges that can come with their academic career but we also need to acknowledge that for many, learning disabilities also impact adults in the workplace. 

In school, students with learning disabilities vary greatly in their need for support. Some need a special school, some a special class, some resource support, and some cope nicely without any special supports.

In the workplace, the same is true for adults. Some require significant rehabilitation programs to prepare them for success in the workplace. Some require access to education and training with adaptations provided. Some only need employers willing to provide adaptations in the workplace. And some perform with no special supports.

LDAWC is able to refer you to community training and resources for accommodations in the workforce.   Don’t hesitate to contact us.  

Hopefully this article offers guidance on how to be successful in the workplace.  If you are unemployed or under-employed, this is a good time to seek available training and resources.

Building Self-Esteem

So many kids with learning disabilities and ADHD suffer from low self-esteem.  They often feel constantly corrected and perpetually punished which contributes to their low self-esteem.  It is not easy to boost a child but the article below is a positive article on how to help support kids in this area.  The focus of these steps is on children’s natural talents, creating connections and  rewarding effort. 

Which step do you think might have the largest impact on your child’s self-esteem?  

COVID-19 & Learning from Home

Many families are struggling to manage children’s learning while away from the classroom.   What was supposed to be two weeks after March Break has now extended indefinitely which can be very stressful for parents as well as students who require the structure and instruction of the classroom to learn. 

The government has developed some online resources to try and curb the time not in the classroom.  I haven’t yet reviewed to see if this is something practical and helpful but the links can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home.  If you have explored these links please post your thoughts in our comments section – would appreciate you sharing for other families to see how these tools are being used or how effective they are. 

As we attempt to fill in the hours when our children were typically in school the suggestions in the article link below may be practical and effective ways to learn while not with their teacher.  

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy