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A Parent’s Guide To Responding To COVID-19

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A Parent’s Guide To Responding To COVID-19

Dr Diane Harner, Neuroscientist and Adolescent Counsellor offers her advice on parenting through COVID-19.

We are in an unprecedented time of change and uncertainty as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. Parenting teenagers during stable times can bring its own challenges, but parenting teens in a time of crisis takes our skills and responsibilities to another level.


This webinar is dedicated to answering important questions that parents have around how they support their teen in times of crisis. We cover topics such as:

  • self-regulation and co-regulation to manage big emotions.

  • grounding techniques that we can use to calm down

  • the importance of providing space for teens to express their emotions without judgment.

  • the role of schedule and routine within the context of creating a sense of certainty and control and also regarding home-schooling.

  • social isolation and how to manage your teen’s distress at not being able to connect with their friends in a way that they are used to offer tips as to how you can have the conversation with your teen about the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain, and even enhance, your connection.


We have provided some help sheets with details about Grounding techniques, Co-regulation strategies, Conversation starters and also a summary of what you need to know about your teenager’s brain to assist in your parenting.


To help you navigate through the webinar the following time stamps show the topic that is discussed at that time.

1:30     What is the first thing that we need to do to support our girls during this crisis?

2:43     Role of self-awareness to support self-regulation

4:00     The role of grounding techniques with examples (Also see Grounding Help sheet)

5:23     Starting the conversation about COVID-19. (Also see Conversation Starter Help sheet)

7:55      The importance of connecting girls with what they can control

8:30     What if our daughter won’t talk to us?

10:30     What changes in behaviour might we see?

12:18     Explanation of how the teen brain works (Also See Neuroscience 101 help sheet)

14:27     The role of co-regulation is supporting our girls to cope (See Co-regulation help sheet)

17:30     The concept of radical acceptance of emotions in the moment

18:00     Finding the balance between accepting emotional expression and healthy interactions

19:20     The major concerns that our girls might have – social isolation, missing out

25:00     The role of schedules and routines and having a rhythm for the day

28:00     Communicating the seriousness of the situation by making it relevant to them

31:20     Diet, sleep, exercise and the benefit of 1 on 1 time

37:18     The power of a parent’s role in modelling healthy behaviours and coping strategies 39:20 What are the positives that we can take out of this crisis?

44:07     Dr Diane Harner’s personal experience being a mum during this crisis.

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