TIPS FOR ADOLESCENTS: How to support a sick friend

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As much as we have so far thought we know how it is for someone when they are sick, we can understand that it is difficult for them not to be able to go anywhere and to be protected, the current situation, if nothing else, has contributed to us really having much more understanding. We ourselves have the experience that we are not allowed anywhere, that we do not go to school, that other activities that we have enjoyed so far are limited or completely temporarily unavailable and that we must pay more attention – to ourselves and others.


Whether it’s a friend who has broken a leg, a friend who has chicken pox, or any other health issues, there is a common limitation of past activities, and a particularly severe limitation of those we loved and enjoyed. With the proviso that most of the rest of us are healthy. And if there were no restrictions, we would do everything the same as before. Those of us who are sick cannot do that. And that’s why it’s even harder for them. They don’t have much choice. What helps them, as well as all of us when it is difficult for us, for whatever reason, is support. Sometimes the support is parents, but often also friends.


If you have a friend who is in poor health and you want to help him, to ease the situation a little, try to remember what helps you when you are having a hard time. We are not all the same and different things and situations make us happy, but you know your friend and you probably know what could make it easier for him.


If we had discussed this topic three months ago, we would certainly suggest that you visit it, unless it is an infectious disease, as is the case. At the moment, this is not possible because, we remind you, you take care of yourself and everyone around you, and a sick friend is already more endangered by his illness than maybe you should be even more careful. There will be opportunities to visit.


Regardless, there are a lot of things you can do:

* you can contact a friend by message, call or video call

* ask him/her how he/she is, does something hurt him/her, does he/she need something, can you help

* you can exchange funny memes if you like it and if it makes you happy otherwise

* plan together what you will do when a friend recovers; ask what he misses the most and what he would do right now if he could; where he would go first with whom

* if you have more mutual friends, you can create a viber or WhatsApp group in which you will correspond

* if a friend is bored, suggest a good movie or series you’ve watched lately

* Play the online game you both love together


And at the end:

* try to solve a school task together and thus make learning and fulfilling school obligations a little more fun, and keep friends (as well as yourself) up to date with the material


By: Dora Kralj, defectologist – social pedagogue and Tanja Manović, defectologist – social pedagogue

Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

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