Parenting teens during the COVID-19 outbreak

Parenting teens is not easy in regular times. Changes happen constantly, and parents must continually find ways to cope with swift emotional shifts, raging hormones, turbulence in their friendships and romantic relationships, and various behaviors. During this time, teens also must make important life decisions, such as choosing a career path. Parents can help them by learning how to coach them in this respect. Still, parenting teens during the Covid-19 outbreak involves all of that plus more, and there are no courses or training that will help you ace it.

Adolescence is a difficult age. It’s the time when the greatest physical and psychological development occurs. For that reason, significant life changes and turmoil can be particularly hard for teenagers. For example, moving to a new home is a huge stressor for teens, so many parents postpone this decision until their kids have left for college. Relocating once your kid leaves home is much easier to handle, as well. The logistics are easier, and the costs will be lower as there will be fewer items to relocate. While it is your job as a parent to protect your teen from unnecessary hardships, sometimes, there will be nothing you can do. When external factors affect their lives, your primary concern must be helping them get through it. A global pandemic is undoubtedly something you can’t control. The social distancing and no regular school routine that the Covid-19 outbreak has brought makes teens feel isolated and alone. On top of everything, significant life events such as graduations, prom nights, and college visits have either been canceled or postponed. These are all massive letdowns. Still, you can focus on what you can do at home to help your teenager cope.

Let your teen feel what they are feeling

A teenage girl sitting next to a window, representing parenting teens during the Covid-19 outbreak

It’s crucial to validate your teens’ feelings. Parenting teens during the Covid-19 outbreak will require you to do it often.

Everyone reacts differently. Some teens will readily talk about what’s bothering them; others will take a bit more time to process their emotions, while some kids need an extended period of time to start talking. There is no point in trying to fix their problems at all costs. You have to respect your child’s emotions. Also, no one knows your kid better than you. So, you already know how long they need to process their feelings. Make sure you respect that timeframe. At the same time, assure them that whatever they are feeling is valid. 

The biggest mistake parents make is explaining to their kids that there are more serious issues in the world and people who have it worse. This will only make them feel bad because of their own emotions. Moreover, it can significantly harm their confidence. You must understand that the problems your kids have are, for them, the biggest problems in the world. So, while it’s necessary to put things in perspective, it is critical to do so in a way that validates their feelings. 

Let’s go back to the moving scenario. Sometimes, relocations are unavoidable. According to consultants from heartmoving.us, who have conducted countless family relocations, talking to kids about why the move is necessary and letting them have a say in the matter is the best way to help them accept the change.

Help your teen destress

A father and son pretending to box on the grass

Laughter is the best medicine. Find activities you can enjoy together to reduce stress and have fun.

Destressing is vital, and there are many ways to do it. The only important thing is to help your kid destress in a healthy way. If you have always wanted to try yoga or meditation, now is the time to try it out with your kid. It’s a way to do something together and bond. 

However, it may be unlikely for a teen to be into such activities. In that case, you may want to try something a bit out of the ordinary. Boxing is a fantastic way to decompress, let out excess energy, and eliminate anger. All you need is a punching bag in your garage. And remember, this is not strictly a father-and-son activity. Gurls and moms can enjoy it too. Plus, it can be super fun!

Having fun and laughing is critical. Laughter has healing powers. If a comedy show you watch together doesn’t do the trick, engaging in a food fight might. Doing something crazy, out of the ordinary, will break the monotony. It will be a surprise and a positive shock that could help pull your teen out of the blues. 

Creating a routine is a huge part of parenting teens during the COVID-19 outbreak

A mother helping her teenage son with distance learning

School obligations are a part of your teen’s everyday routine; make sure you establish a daily schedule to help them maintain a sense of normalcy.

The situation we are currently living in is all but normal. The best way to create a sense of normalcy is to develop a consistent daily schedule. Since teens have school obligations, their daily routine will include the time when they participate in distance learning sessions, dedicated homework time, exercise, and time spent outside.

Sleep is also an essential part of everyday life. When kids don’t go to school, they may not need to wake up early, and they may probably get into the habit of going to bed much later. It can disrupt their sleeping schedule, and since we know that teens need as much as ten hours of sleep, the lack of it can contribute to increased stress levels. If this situation persists, it can even reduce cognitive functioning.

Family is the greatest support

Two teenage girls sitting on a log

Family and friends are a great support. Spending time outside or organizing video sessions with friends is a great way to keep in touch safely.

This is the time when your support will mean the world to your teen, even if they can’t recognize it immediately. One way to offer support is to organize family project events. Researching your family history will be something the entire family can participate in, and it can be great fun. It is also an excellent opportunity to discuss how grandparents dealt with difficulties in the past.

It is also an opportunity to organize virtual family or friends gathering. Encourage your teens to schedule video calls with their friends and do something together. Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity to take a course or learn a new skill. If your teen has a friend who would join them, it would be a great motivator. Your job is to encourage them and show them what options they have. 

Moreover, although these are unquestionably challenging times, you can perceive them as an opportunity to bond with your teens because you have more time to spend together. Family outings, hiking trips, virtual visits to a museum, even just watching a film together will be some quality time spent together. It may be hard at first, but you will soon notice your kids opening up and being more willing to participate in various activities. 

Final words

Parenting teens during the COVID-19 outbreak indeed is a challenge. But if you approach it with understanding and patience, you will have a much easier time. You will also help your child through difficult times with far fewer troubles. If you wish to learn more about the parenting course, visit Findmino.com, the free go-to resource for career exploration of the web.

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