Mental Health Guidance for Kids, Teens and Guardians

Coronavirus is kicking everyone in the ass, but it’s especially tough for kids and teens. Here’s some guidance and a few resources to help us all through.

Talk. Listen. Validate.
While You’re At It, Blast a Little Metal.

Last week I wrote a post about what a drag this coronavirus crap is for my oldest daughter, a representative of classes of 2020 all over the country. For this year’s seniors, fun is not being had, friendships are not being deepened and memories are not being made.

Like all of us, they’re captives of circumstances that are beyond their control.

That sucks.

Everyone is sharply focused on physical health, for good reason, but we can’t forget about mental health.

The stress of self- or parent/guardian-imposed stay-at-home social distancing is a challenge for everyone, but I believe it has to be tougher on kids, especially teens.

Think back for a minute. Remember how important your friends were when you were 12-18 years old? Your crew – or whatever you called it – wasn’t just important, it was necessary. You felt things so much more deeply then. Everything took on such huge significance that you needed your friends to get through it all.

Nothing’s changed. These kids need their friends, and not just over FaceTime or some similar technology. They need to be with each other, face to face. They need to hug and bump fists. But they can’t. And that can be tough on their mental health.

Search “mental health kids teens coronavirus” and dozens of articles and posts will come up from reputable groups, such as:

Many offer similar advice, like:

  • Talk to your kids about coronavirus and COVID-19.
  • Ask them about the specific worries they have. Really listen.
  • Validate their concerns, but also reassure them.
  • Be a good role model. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat well.
  • Be realistic and honest, but try not to express rising levels of anxiety.

As for my favorite advice, it comes from a non-mental health professional, metal rocker Lzzy Hale. It’s good for people of all ages –

Now is the time we truly get to see the healing powers of music. Listen to it, play it, share your playlists with friends. Listen to music together online, etc.”

Whatever you do, remember that our kids need us during these strange and unpredictable days.

Coronavirus and COVID-19 be damned! But for now, we just gotta deal.

As my 16-year old son would say, #Facts.”

 

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The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.

Donations do not – or at least should not – give donors the power to be kingmakers. Or, in this case, president-unmakers.

No, Ms. McGarry. You Don’t Get Control.

Kris Engelstad McGarry is at it again, holding a gun to the heads of North Dakota higher education leaders and, ipso facto, to the heads of North Dakota citizens.

This time the Engelstad family is threatening to quit giving money to the University of North Dakota until President Mark Kennedy is gone. McGarry refused to utter the word “fired,” but she didn’t need to.

McGarry:  No Engelstad Money while Kennedy is at UND

Nice.

Gun To Our Heads. Again.

It’s far from the first time for the late UND alumnus Ralph Engelstad and his heirs.

Continue reading “The Ol’ Engelstad Gun-to-Our-Heads Maneuver. Again.”

Mr. Bison Goes to Washington

The North Dakota State University Bison football team is going to Washington, D.C. What an honor. Now, if only…

If Only They Were Going to Be Greeted by a Fellow Champion

NDSU’s football team is going to Washington, D.C. Good for them. If any athlete or sports team deserves it, the Bison do. Fifteen national titles and seven of the last eight. Wow.

No matter who the president is, being invited to the White House is an honor.

Or so someone recently pointed out. Made my skin crawl at first. But I’ve come around.

Continue reading “Mr. Bison Goes to Washington”

Blizzard Drive-By

We got the car out. Finally. We were incredibly thankful to Mr. Jackwagon for rolling down his window and scolding us about the vehicles pulled off to the side with their hazards on. In blizzard conditions.

Dear Mr. Supreme Jackwagon:

You know who you are.

You’re the guy who just drove past me and four other people who were trying to get a car unstuck at the entrance to a side street right off of 17th Avenue South, Fargo.

In blizzard conditions.

You’re the guy who did not stop to help. You’re the guy who, instead, took the time to lower your power driver’s side window and yell, in a menacing voice as you drove on by, “Hey, you can’t just park your cars in the middle of the street!”

Continue reading “Blizzard Drive-By”

#IAmNotaDistractactionFargo Rebuttal

Mr. Berg begs to differ. What do YOU think? Good, bad and ugly, all opinions are welcome.

What do YOU think about the Fargo Public Schools dress code and enforcement?

Mr. Keith Berg, Fargo, N.D., has taken exception to the assertions I made in the story in The Forum this past Saturday regarding gender-biased dress codes and dress code enforcement.

So, what do YOU think?

All opinions are welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.

Martin C. Fredricks IV Logo