4 ways to help your teen through this “stay at home” order / quarantine.
Devastating orders for teens.
You have to stay home with your parents and cannot see your friends. On top of that, what started as a two week order now feels indefinite. School is cancelled. Youth group is cancelled. Theater rehearsals are cancelled. Sports are cancelled.
Everything - cancelled.
What do we do as parents? We are also facing uncertainties and a situation so foreign we are all a little stunned.
Here are 4 ways we are helping our teens deal with the current situation, Coronavirus 2020 and the shelter in place / social distancing / quarantine life.
1. Be honest with them and let them feel all the feelings but help them past it.
Be honest with them about all the uncertainty but in the midst of that focus on things that are certain. Like your family. Having confidence that “this too shall pass” even if you are not sure exactly when.
This stinks for them. Let them be sad and mad. Let them express their fears and frustrations. You are probably feeling that way too but refrain from comparing your fears, frustrations, sadness and anger with theirs. It's different for them.
As parents our feelings are rooted in money, basic needs, government decisions, careers, your children and yes some social concerns too but still it is not the same so refrain from comparing or saying you feel the “same way”.
Let their feelings be theirs.
As teens their concerns are very different than yours and as parents we need to respect that.
This does not mean you need to avoid letting them know you are having feelings, it's important for them to know you are feeling through this too.
Helping your teens past their negative feelings can be tricky. It’s important though to be able to move into a healthier head space.
They are feeling alone, making sure they know everyone is dealing with this together will help. Stay in contact with other parents, find out how they are dealing with quarantine. Communicate with your teen so they know they aren’t missing out on anything - no one is getting together.
Knowing this will help.
2. Starting some projects.
Redecorating, painting, refurbishing a piece of furniture. Art projects. Music. Writing letters.
Most stores are closed but ordering from Home Depot or picking things up at WalMart or Target are still options. We make a list and pick up these things on an “essential needs” trip. When we need milk or eggs we can go to WalMart and also pick up paint or things for redecorating.
Art projects - canvases to paint on. Let them paint a mural on a wall or word art. Something maybe you never would have considered before.
Having Pinterest + time on your hands is a great combo! Try some Pinterest projects then decide if you “nailed it” or if it is a “Pinterest Fail” and be able to laugh at yourself.
Even though as parents many of us are working from home and the fear of what is happening in the economy can make us want to work every minute of every day - make sure you are taking time.
The precious gift of TIME with your teens. Walk away from work and do something with your kids.
4. Friends - the TV Show.
A TV show really? Yes! My teens are in love with Friends and watched it over and over when it streamed on Netflix. Friends recently left Netflix and won’t be available to stream again until May on HBOMax ($14.99 / month).
No offense to HBO but I do NOT want to sign up for yet another streaming service. We already have 3 at our house!
Good news though! Friends the TV Series the full Series is available on DVD and Blu Ray. That may seem vintage now but spirits were truly lifted with the arrival of this DVD set at our house.
This is available on Amazon for over $100 however we found it at Target for $69.99 and they will deliver! You can order online.
4. Go outside every day.
Encourage your teen to take a walk, ride a bike or skateboard...just spend some time outside every day. Of course sunshine is ideal but If it's raining bring an umbrella, if it's cold wear a jacket.
Getting outside is excellent for your mental health in a variety of ways. It’s surprising how a gentle stroll surrounded by nature can give you a completely new perspective.
You can walk around the neighborhood, your town or for something different, take a nature walk.
Kim Heelam-Cook from A Good Life After 50 shared these benefits of nature in a recent blog post (these benefits of nature apply at any age! Which is why I am including them here) :
Parents - you can do this. Another tip - take care of yourselves emotionally, mentally and spiritually so you can help your teens in a healthy way.
I am no expert.
Just an everyday mom in the trenches with you finding herself back in the trenches of full time mom after I started to transition out of this chapter. As a homeschool mom for over 18 years we had begun the transition into public school and I just started my new career as a full time blogger and business owner.
Suddenly I am back in the throes of full time mom life. Pausing to put 100% of my attention on my home and my girls. How am I writing this? Just like I used to - when I find a minute now I write. No more “career” for me right now and that is ok.
I used to pray for a pause button. Well, life has been paused and in the stillness of the moment I know where my focus needs to be again. At home. In my home. With my girls.
I'd love to hear from you! What are you doing to help your teens or kids through this covid quarantine time? Comment below!
You might also enjoy these posts on #thesosblog: