How Gen-Zers can support their parents during times of stress

We are living through an extremely unpredictable time. Just about everyone has experienced major changes in their lives in a short period of time, and the constant uncertainty of the news is enough to put anyone on edge. You may have noticed some high tension in your house as a result of everything that is going on. Like many people, your parents are probably under a lot of stress at the moment.

You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help support your parents right now. Remember that as a minor, it is not your responsibility to take care of your parents, and so you shouldn’t overburden yourself by trying to solve every problem. What you can do is offer to alleviate some of their stress by helping with some of the smaller things.

Here are a few suggestions on ways that you can help support your parents during stressful times.

Offer to help out around the house

Your parents may be having a hard time juggling working from home and taking care of everything around the house. One way that you can help make things a bit easier on them is by offering to take care of some of their daily chores.

Here are some things you can do that you can help around the house:

  • Offer to take care of the laundry.

  • If you like to cook, offer to take care of breakfast or dinner. Or if you’re not much of a chef, offer to assist whoever is cooking.

  • Offer to clean up the dining area and do the dishes after meals.

  • If you can drive, offer to pick up groceries or run any errands.

  • If you have a family dog, offer to take him or her for a walk.

Help take care of your younger siblings

If you have any younger siblings, you can help your parents by taking care of them. Remember that your parents are used to you and your siblings being at school for a big chunk of the day. Everyone being at home all day is a big change that may take you all some time to adjust to, but you can make it a bit easier by helping out with your siblings.

Here are a few suggestions on things you can do to help out with your younger siblings:

  • Help them with their homework, especially if they are having a hard time with distance learning.

  • Spend time with them. Depending on how old they are, they may want someone to play a game or watch a show with them.

  • Offer to make them lunch or a snack.

  • If they are especially young (or just messy), help them clean their room.

Practice being independent

You can also help your parents just by taking good care of yourself. Try to think of things that your parents usually help you with, that you could easily do by yourself. This can be as simple as doing your chores without having to be reminded. Knowing that you are capable of taking care of yourself may take some of the weight off of your parents’ shoulders. Plus, if you show your parents how independent you can be now, they may allow you some more freedom once things go back to normal.

You can also show independence by communicating with your parents and asking for help when you need it. Understand that asking for help is a sign of strength during challenging times. Your parents may be worried about your well-being during this time, especially if they are trying to guess how you are feeling and how they can help you. Having a clear line of communication can help soothe their worries. 

Talk to your family about how they are doing

During times such as these, in which we are all under a lot of stress, it is important to communicate with each other about how you can support one another. Your whole family has undergone a lot of changes in the past year. Talk to your family members about how everyone is handling all of these changes. Ask if there is anything you can do to make things easier on one another. Keep in mind that you are not a therapist, and if you or any of your family members have been showing signs of depression, anxiety or poor mental well-being, you may want to consider seeking professional help.

As you think of ways that you can help support your parents, remember that there are certain things that are just out of your control. However, you can still show your love and support by helping with the little things. In times like these, little gestures can go a long way.

Ariella is a senior at San Diego State University studying advertising. She is passionate about creating content and especially enjoys writing about travel and lifestyle topics.

by Ariella Hayden

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