The past week of parenting a teen during quarantine has been interesting, to say the least. Here’s what I’ve learned in this time of incredible uncertainty and stress.
Every kid is different.
Every parent is different.
Heck, every hour is different.
That means that we as parents are called up on to be flexible and empathetic and creative and all the flipping things, all at once. And what I’ve learned is that it is next to impossible to be all those things at once while dealing with our own complicated jumble of emotions.
I find myself wishing I had a masters in public health, a dual degree in child development and psychology, culinary training, and a crystal ball. I have none of those. And if it motivates you to know that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine, that’s awesome, but I’m no Shakespeare and even if I was, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Bill probably wasn’t wondering how Lear would tell Cordelia that prom and graduation were unlikely to happen but we don’t now anything for sure right now.
So, what’s I’ve learned is that really all any of us can do is take it one step at a time. This has become my theme song:
The line “All we have is each other” is so much more poignant now than it ever was and I got a lump in my throat when I listened to this song earlier in the week.
We can hang on to each other while social distancing and giving teens under the same roof reassurance and love and space, too.
When I asked my teen what she said was helpful, she said having some alone time has been nice.
She also suggested finding a tv series that you can all watch together. (If you’re looking for one that’s good for all ages, we found the Disney+ Pick of the Litter to be a good one and a great reminder of the all the people working to help others.)
Allow them to feel all the feels, sometimes simultaneously.
Be honest. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” In fact, no one knows how this will all unfold and what it will mean for the future.
Stay hopeful. Our kids need know that we think things will be okay.
To help with that, check out this article: “Coronavirus news has us anxious and sad. Here are 11 things we’ve seen that lifted our spirits.“
For an expert take from someone with a few of the degrees I wish I had, check out the article “Quarenteenagers: Strategies for Parenting in Close Quarters” by Lisa Damour, PhD.
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