If you’re like me, you’ve been home since March. We have been asked to social distance until further notice, which means staying home most of the time and not being able to see friends and family and doing our part to flatten the curve. Do my friends miss me as much as I miss them? Will we be going back to school or learning from home again? These are the thoughts that might be going through your tween/teens minds.
While the virus has changed our lives (and everyone has their own opinion on the issue.) Your children are dying to know what their “new normal” will be come the fall semester. As parents, your job is including child care, work, deciding about what to do about school for your children and of course, taking care of yourself. Deep down, I think we’re hoping that someone will just give us the answers we want to life, but that’s not how life works. While writing this I feel the anxiety of what you as a parent must be feeling. To obey or disobey state mandates, that is the question. What works for your family might not work for friends. Oh yes, and many of our young adults have found their voice during the riots and marches for BLM and have loads of questions and emotions during this time.
While I am not a government employee or health professional, I do believe that some advice has been helpful and at the same time, frustrating because they are trying to guide us during this time. My opportunity to help families has been altered and it makes me sad especially when I feel like I could be doing so much more. I AM thankful to be back in my office now and to connect with my clients face to face!
This may be controversial, but I am loving seeing all of the teens and young adults outside, playing and connecting with their friends, playing ball, swimming, bike riding and other fun activities. This is a good thing for their mental health and for their social and emotional needs.
Your opinion as a parent is most important and I want you to know that only you know what is best for your children. Some families may be doing things differently than you, but that’s okay. Love them where they are at, and support each other accordingly. Make sure you are taking time to connect with your family, taking time to talk about current events, fears, anxieties and other issues. If you feel like you can’t answer something accordingly or you are concerned about the mental, physical or emotional health of your children or spouse, don’t be afraid to find professional help.
Taking care of your own emotional being is important too. Respecting others and the space needed to have connections with friends is all a risk . However there are ways to survive. The opportunity to see friends has an emotional release for anger, anxiety, and depression. While we may not be encouraging ourselves to see people in person, it is a healthy and helpful way to take care of ourselves. (Plus there are plenty of opportunities to meet with people outside)
The solution will probably change week to week, until government and health care workers can come together and help us all move forward together. Keep an open mind and ear and listen to other families’ concerns and be patient with the schools. You are the example and the one responsible for your teens emotional and mental care.
I am always here if you need more help <3