Parents and carers should remember that the impact on teenagers is real. As normally social individuals who deal with adolescent dynamics on a daily basis, teenagers are understandably frustrated as they miss out on group activities, sporting events, hanging out with best friends at school and more.
For those teenagers that may have just started to date or to drive a car, these rites of passage have been dramatically taken away while families are on lockdown.
During lockdown, teenagers may swing from boredom and frustration to nervous and angry, while dabbling in other emotions on the way.
Here are some conversation starters related to the current lockdown:
- I understand your frustration about not seeing your friends IRL, what ways can you connect and continue your friendships (or date) with online activities?
- Can we create an online birthday party or high school dance for your friends? What other ways can we create fun online socialization with your friends?
- How are things going with remote learning? Is there anything I can do to support you?
- We are definitely going through stressful times and we know that eating right and exercising is still important. Have you seen any interesting apps that can encourage healthy habits?
You can also use this intensive time to delve into some of those challenging online topics, (such as unwanted contact, grooming, online pornography or sending nudes and sexting and online dating) or to remind them of the basics of internet safety.
You have the best opportunity to support your children in avoiding online risks and increasing online opportunities by keeping those conversations going.