Pandemic reports always focus on the loss and tragedies of economic and population. However, the children and young adults are shunned out of the conversation. COVID-19 has created new obstacles and consequences for the vulnerable demographic to endure.
Many teenagers have been staying home, isolated from others and doom-scrolling on social media. This makes them less likely to socialize with their friends, their anxiety has shot up and they have had to endure the pain of constant Zoom education.
Since they are isolated for the most part, you can easily miss the red flags of their energy declining in the home. If these flags aren’t taken to account, this can lead to more emotional distress for your teenager until they try to end the problem in destructive way.
As a loved one to a teen, you have most likely seen signs of your teen trying to swim up for air. Or they may have completely shut down from everyone around them.
As painful it is to witness, you have the power to change the course of their future well-being. Here are some ways to help your teen’s well-being during this difficult time.
1. Start a conversation.
This is super simple and yet we avoid this step with ourselves. Your teen is most likely in their room surrounded by school work and social media.
They are probably silent about their feelings because teenagers tend to internalize most feelings and will never speak up if someone doesn’t check in with them.
Go into their room and spark up an conversation with them by asking, “How are you?” “How is school?” or “Do you need anything from me?” Questions that put the attention on them and their well-being will show that you are aware of them and their surroundings.
Do this as a weekly check-in face-to-face, texting, or another medium. You will be surprised at how much they will say if you open up to them. The release that they will feel from venting to you is worth it.
2. Do a movie or TV night!
Spend time with your teenager by watching movies or TV shows that both of you enjoy. Thanks to all these online streaming services, there are new releases every week.
If your teen loves action or teen romance, set up a time where both of you can come together with snacks and watch movies. During the movie, questions and comments can arise from the film that may lead to deeper conversations about life and their current mindset.
If you want to get creative, you and your teen can create a DIY movie theater space and make it a premiere event. These movie dates will fill in the gap of their loneliness. Creating more bonding time with your teen can distract them from whatever ill feelings that they have at the moment.
3. Dedicate a day to doing what they want to do.
From talking to bonding on movie dates, ask your teenager what they want to do for the day. This gesture shows the teen that they have autonomy of their life and can create decisions for themselves.
If they want to go to their favorite store, put on a mask and take them there for shopping. If your teen wants to try new food that they discovered from their TikTok page, buy carryout and try the new food together.
If they don’t have a preference, create activities for both of you to enjoy such as painting, cooking, or playing board games. Doing this can create the dedication time that they need and will feel their desires are being met.
Your teen will enjoy their time and appreciate that you care about their hobbies and views during this stressful time.
4. Go outside.
Teens are told to stay inside because they are worried about getting or being exposed to COVID. They are also angst-ridden watching their formative years past by on social media by staying glued to their phone and from having to stay in longer to be on top of online school.
Take your teen outside to make sure they get some Vitamin D. Leaving their immediate setting gives them a release that is needed to let go of any stress that is bottled up inside.
Walk around the neighborhood or sit at a local park and it’ll give them the space to breath and reset for the week. This can also help them focus on appreciating their present life. The beauty of life is that suffering and pain doesn’t last forever.
There is positivity and care in everything that happens in life. Try to instill these thoughts into your teen by making sure you are paying attention to their moods.
Make sure you are bonding with them and show the love and affection that they need during a time where loneliness runs high. Your teen will thrive and soar and they will remember that you were the source of their solace.