Parents have always known that teens suffer while grounded at home. It’s the very reason we use grounding as a punishment method in the first place. Teen issues with behavior aside, none of us thought we’d have to watch our kids endure a long-term grounding throughout most of 2020. Our kids are suffering, and it’s through no fault of their own.
Co-Vid Lockdown and Teenagers: Stay Relaxed
If you’re having a difficult time parenting teens during lockdown, don’t be too hard on yourself. No parent knows how to handle this unprecedented situation, and the parents of teenagers tend to have it the worst.
Teens tend to:
- Have a desire to rebel against authority.
- Believe they are invincible.
- Make decisions without thinking of the long-term consequences.
All these factors make teens naturally resistant to lockdown measures. Parents should avoid pushing teens further toward rebellion. While teens do need discipline and structure, now is a time to relax the rules as much as possible. Allow your teens more free time to interact with friends on social media, and permit meetups with masks and social distancing if local regulations allow for it. Staying safe from co-vid is important, but we also need to provide our teens with as much social interaction as we can.
A Hard Loss: Allow for Grief
Losing precious time in the classroom would be bad enough, but many of these kids are also missing important milestones. They’ve spent years looking forward to high school. Now, they’re being told they won’t experience the extracurricular activities, sporting events, field trips, or school dances they expected. This is a devastating loss, and it’s crucial for parents to hold space for their children to grieve.
Seeking Teen Support: A Parent’s Job
Parenting teens through co-vid will require a great deal of honesty. It might be difficult to tell our kids that we don’t know when things will get better, but it’s important. They’re old enough to face reality, hard as it might be.
Optimism is another important factor. Our kids will be watching us and paying attention to how we respond. We need to find balance between the harsh truth of what’s happening now and the hope for a better future. If we feel hope, our kids will too.
Now is a good time to get together with others who are parenting teens. Set up online meetings with other parents, create a Facebook group, or gather online in some other way to discuss teen support.
Are you struggling with teen issues related to the coronavirus lockdowns? I offer online mentoring services that can help. Together, we’ll come up with a plan that can help your teen thrive during the pandemic.