How to support your CMA cadet during the COVID-19 situation -Donna L. Rudd, LPC
By: Casey Robinson on Mar 27, 2020 | Categories: General
I am a therapist in Camden and through the years have worked with many students at CMA. We are all in a unique situation and adjusting day to day. Below are some suggestions that might make the rest of the year less stressful for the young men since their Spring Break was cancelled. I encourage you to stay in touch with the Headmaster and TAC officers before doing anything to make sure it does not disrupt anything they are already doing.
- Listen to your child and be patient with them. They are stressed and need to have a safe place to vent. Try not to use phrases like “ it isn’t’ that long”(9 weeks is an eternity to them) , “ you will be fine”( they will be but right now they are disappointed and angry) , “when I was your age …. (they don’t want to hear what it was like for you, they want to deal with right now),”we are going through the same things here”,( you are at home where they want to be),”this situation is character building” ( they don’t’ care about character right not ,they want Spring Break)
- Give lots of positive feedback. They need to hear you are proud of them for making the best of this and you respect the efforts they are making.
- Don’t react if their grades slip a little. This is stressful for everyone and they will get back into a routine.
- Get with other parents and “adopt” a barracks. Make sure all the barracks are getting the same attention. Send pizza, cupcakes, snacks …. They aren’t getting Spring Break so something a little special will be appreciated.
- Don’t forget about the TACs, teachers, nurses, staff … They are there with your child and they are also dealing with stress and concerns themselves through all of this. Let them know you appreciate what they are dealing with everyday with your child. It would be nice if each student could get individual attention, unfortunately there are 300 young men at CMA and they are doing the best they can. Be patient.
- Whether they admit it or not, they are worried about you and members of the family catching the virus. Reassure them you are doing all you can to prevent this and encourage them to do the same. Wash their hands as often as possible, keep themselves and their clothes clean and listen to what they are being told by the staff.
- Please remind them to deal with facts and not fear. There is a lot of misinformation online and it only adds to your child’s stress and does nothing to help. If you can’t answer a question or aren’t sure about something, say so. It is better to be honest with them and encourage false information. Snopes.com is a good fact checking site.
Donna L. Rudd, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor