I was recently afforded the opportunity to be a guest on Desmond Blackburn’s show DOERS, and we had a brief conversation on how to keep our teenager emotionally focused while we are all on quarantine (link to the interview can be found at the end). Although I do have a degree in Child Development and have raised a couple of children, but this current situation is new to the entire world. I am no expert, but I did want to share are some things that I have learned as a parent.
Remain Calm – The teenage years can already be a roller coaster simply due to the growth and hormonal changes that are taking place, so when a major crisis or a situation that can bring a lot of unknown factors, one of the best things that we can do as adults is to be calm. We set the tone in our homes, so if we are freaking out it will cause our children to freak out. I am not saying don’t deal with your own fears; you can and should do that, but seek the support of an adult that can support and handle adult fears. Do your best to be peaceful so that your home can be filled with peace.
Be Mindful of Your Environment – Part of setting the tone for your home is going to be paying attention to what you’re watching and saying. If you play the news in your home 24/7, it’s going to stir up a lot of stress, anxiety and fear simply because of what is being put out by the media. Also, be mindful of conversations you’re having, even simply on the phone. Children, especially teenagers, pay attention to conversations we have with others. Be a reliable source by keeping your child informed of what’s going on (give them facts) without overwhelming them.
Be Patient, Available & Affectionate - The crisis the world is currently dealing with is creating a lot of stress and emotions in adults, so you can only imagine what is going through our teens’ minds. That stress may cause your child to behave outside of his or her normal behavior. You may need to be a little more patient and show some grace. Make yourself available to listen and have open, honest discussions with what’s going on. Let your child know that you are available to talk and are there. Give your son or daughter some extra hugs and affection. Human touch and some extra TLC can give some extra comfort and reinforce love and care. For those of us with high school seniors, it’s important to help them deal with the emotions of all that they feel that they are losing right now. If you’re able to, try and come up with creative ways to make up for any activities that have been lost due to the COVID-19 situation.
Encourage Communication with Peers and Loved Ones – In a normal crisis, students usually go right back to school within days of the situation ending, and they can be in their normal school environment and be there for each other. There are also socioemotional counselors and support that’s available to students while they are at school. They do not have that option in this current situation, so encourage your child to communicate with their friends. They have many technological options for them to communicate and see each other face-to-face.
Things To Do – Even during school breaks, children do not stay indoors at home all day in our society. Our children are extremely busy, so while we help them adapt to staying home, there are some things that we can do to help them make good use of the time:
Remember, just as all adults and people in general are unique, every child is as well. Each has his or her own communication styles and learning styles. No two are the same, and it is up to us as caring, responsible adults to recognize and utilize our child(ren)’s individual style, so that we can be effective in our teaching and communication in this challenging situation. Give your teen the assurance that you care, that you’re there for them and you will do everything you can to help get him or her through it.
11/3/2022 04:28:57 am
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