Lack of Interest in Previously Enjoyed Activities

  • Lack of Interest graphic During this crisis, some children may lose the ability to feel joy. The things that once made them happy are no longer fun or enjoyable. If your child no longer shows interest in activities he or she once enjoyed…Try these strategies:

    • Engage in social interactions through platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype with his or her friends or other family members outside the home
    • Encourage healthy habits 
      • Help your child keep a consistent sleep schedule with predictable times to wake up and go to bed, which is important to maintaining a positive mood. 
      • This schedule does not necessarily need to reflect the child’s pre-COVID-19 schedule, but should still contain consistency. 
      • A healthy diet and time for physical activities such as going for a walk or bike ride can also be helpful in boosting your child’s positive mood. 
      • Participate in a home exercise with your child to help boost his or her mood, spend time together, and potentially elicit a few giggles!
    • Validate your child’s disappointment.
      • She or he may share about missing out on particularly fun experiences associated with the end of school/beginning of summer.
      • Give your child room to share his or her feelings and listen without judgment or without reassuring that everything will be fine and that you understand that they are disappointed.
      • It’s ok to tell them that you are disappointed as well.
    • Encourage your child to participate in relaxation techniques to improve his or her ability to cope.
      • Journaling his or her thoughts and experiences during this time, as journaling is a useful coping skill and will allow the child to look back on when we participated in social distancing
      • Deep breathing
      • Mindfulness activities 
      • Yoga
      • Progressive muscle relaxation, which is the tensing and releasing of muscle groups in order, can be helpful in soothing the nervous system. 
    • Start a new hobby with your child
      • Look for a hobby that is calming to you, but could also be of interest to your child
      • This could be cooking or baking a certain (family) recipe, chalk painting/redoing old furniture, knitting/sewing/crocheting, painting, starting a garden/planting flowers, etc. 
    • Validate how difficult these times are for your child and how difficult it is to participate in social distancing and distance learning. 
      • Hearing this validation from a parent can help calm a child’s frustration. 
    • For teenagers in particular, help them recognize they do still have a future and that this difficult time will not last forever. 
      • Encourage your child to continue to think about the future by researching college choices or teams or clubs they may wish to join once school resumes. 
    • Model the suggestions listed above, possibly expressing your own worries and how you are choosing to cope.