Handling Teens in a Pandemic
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2020 has thrown us all a bit of a curveball. Last year, no one had heard of a ‘lockdown’ and, we might have known about the flu outbreaks of 1918 and SARS, but not expected anything like COVID-19 to hit quite so close to home. If you’ve got kids at home, then managing a lockdown with them can be an incredibly challenging experience. Especially for teenagers, who are used to having a bigger degree of flexibility and freedom than little ones. Facing big restrictions on how they live their lives can be difficult. This might have brought with it changes in moods and behavior that you weren’t expecting. If you’re struggling with your teenager during this pandemic, then read on for some tips on how best to manage the situation.
Keep Conversation Going… But Not Too Much.
It’s really important that your teenager or young adult feels like you’re a sounding board and that they can come to you if they need to talk about something – however big or small. But you also need to recognize that sometimes, like all of us, they just need their space. Understanding that them lashing out, or wanting to be alone is not a failure on your part, but a natural response to a situation which is out of their control and there may be a battle with hormones and mood swings, which can be incredibly frustrating. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that they’ll come back, and then simply just walk away.
Keep Balance for Yourself
It can be all-too-easy to try and do everything for them during this time. The pandemic has robbed everyone of some independence, teens included, so it’s important to maintain any independence they have. You can help with this by increasing their responsibilities around the house. You might initially meet with some resistance for this but talk to them about the future. Remind them how important learning to cook will be when they go off to college, or eventually move out. Giving them some lessons in life-skills now is something they can do to feel like they’re still making progress even if the world around them is standing still.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Be aware that their behavior should never pose a risk – to them or others. If you are starting to see signs that they are veering towards activities that are too risky, it might be time to intervene. There are lots of forms this can take, depending on the nature of what they’re doing, but remember to try and keep your cool throughout any difficult exchange you have (with anyone but especially with a teenager).
Take Time for Yourself
Remember, it isn’t your job to keep them occupied every hour of every day. Whatever you might want to do to relax, maybe try a new beauty routine or a facelift, or even just chill in a bubble bath with your favorite beverage. Whatever it is, take some time for yourself and remember that they might want to do the same.