Member question:

One of my daughters, my soon-to-be 12-year-old, is feeling down due to the social isolation. I had her create a list of her friends, the best way to contact them and now she has started contacting them, mainly through email as some don’t have phones yet. I had her meet a friend at a park for a social distance hangout on Tuesday, that seemed to lift her spirits. Socializing in school was her primary source of interaction. I got her alone on the kayak during my lunch break on Tuesday and got out a lot of yuck from her that she’s been holding in and are now attempting to make plans for coping with not seeing friends and how she may be able to see some by social distancing. Any further suggestions?


Rachel’s response:

I think you’ve already done two important things: 1.) let her talk about her Yuck, demonstrating that you can handle it and 2.) empowered her to find solutions! I recommend continuing to do both of those things.

The only other thing that I can suggest to you is that even those two solutions may not fix everything 100%… but that can’t be our goal, unfortunately. We have to accept that even when we’re doing our best for our kids (which the 2 items I mentioned above really are) and recognize that sometimes they will still not be completely happy. Obviously if you believe her feelings or moods are affecting her functioning, you can find more intensive support for her; but otherwise, it’s important to realize this time we’re going through is challenging in a number of ways and that sometimes that brings up challenging feelings. It’s not our job to fix those feelings; it’s our job to show them that we’re there with them in those feelings.