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Helping teens cope with pandemic stress and anxiety: Mom Minute Monday

Nationally, more kids are being seen and treated for anxiety and depression. That number is even more concerning for high schoolers.

CLEVELAND — This past year has been tough for kids, especially teenagers. In today's edition of "Mom Minute Monday," 3News talked to pediatric psychologist Dr. Marilyn Sampilo from Cleveland Clinic Children’s about what parents can do to help.

“Any time there's a disruption in the lives of adolescents, particularly teenagers, it can cause all sorts of different changes in potentially stress levels and then have an impact on their social and emotional and behavioral functioning.”

Dr. Sampilo says part of the reason this time has been tougher on teens is because they’re still discovering who they are.

“Something unique about this developmental period for them, particularly for high schoolers, it's really a time in their development where they're coming into their own ideas about their identity. And they're really getting into more of a future orientation and so the disruptions in schools can be particularly stressful for adolescents.”

Purely because of their age, teens may also be taking on extra tasks right now.

“We also have some adolescents who maybe are taking on extra responsibilities at home. You know, helping with virtual schooling for younger siblings and so I think it's important to attend to some of the unique stresses or unique challenges that some of our teenagers might be experiencing.”

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Like with all children, it can be helpful for teens to keep to a schedule. Plan time for homework, relaxing and connecting with friends.

That last part has been especially hard for teens.

Socialization is such a critical part of their well-being and development but it's important to do it safely. Remind your teen to continue to wear a mask, be social but maintain physical distance and reach out in other ways such as by phone, text, video chat and social media.


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