Advice

How to Deal With Teenagers During COVID-19


Hello everyone!  It’s Kristy here from team Jilly.  I am the finance assistant and HR manager.  Jillian asked me to write about my journey through quarantine with my three teenagers.  My oldest son is 19 and lives at home, my middle son is 18 and in his graduation year and my daughter is 15 and in Grade 10.  I am selfishly cherishing this time with them because often they are out and about and so busy. But it has also been tough seeing them lose jobs, possibly not have graduation ceremonies and miss out on dance competitions.  Sending so much love to parents of teens and teens themselves right now!

Sending love to all parents of teenagers! I have three amazing teenagers and social distancing and staying home is very foreign to them.  Being a teenager is hard no matter what and now some of them are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their lives.  Let’s take this one day at a time and learn as we go. 

Here are a few ways I have been supporting my teens through COVID 19. 

Feeling anxious is ok!

If the news and school closures are creating anxiety, those feelings are normal.  Help them recognize that and to know that it is ok and most likely helpful to talk about it.  I try to provide accurate, developmentally appropriate information without overloading them.

Create distractions

Encourage them to engage in new ways!  They could do on-line exercise classes, board or card games, organize their room or try a new recipe.  Creating a new routine at home with some structure has helped us!

Connect with friends in new ways

Facetime their friends while they make lunch or watch a movie.  Share Tik Tok videos. Show kindness by arranging a delivery on the doorsteps of your friends.

Focus on them

Have there been things that they have been meaning to do or to learn, now is the time!  They could learn a musical instrument, read a book they’ve been meaning to read, plant a garden, paint or draw a picture, or learn how to edit pictures or videos!

Feel the feelings

There are some pretty huge losses for these teenagers right now…grad, sports, competitions, work…it’s ok to feel the sadness, help them recognize and talk about their feelings.  

Be kind to others  

Now more than ever they need to be thoughtful with what they share or say.  This is a time to shine on social media with kindness and positivity. Encourage them to reach out to a friend or acquaintance that may need some extra love during this time.  

Practice Gratitude

Help and remind them to think about what they still have and what they can appreciate.  We do still have so much to be grateful for.  

I asked my kids and some of their friends to share their thoughts on social-isolation and distancing and we have compiled them below. I thought their insights might be helpful to share with other children around the same age that are having their graduation ceremonies, prom and other events canceled!

JENNA CALVERT

Usually, I try and make excuses to miss school but at this moment in time, I want nothing but to be at school.  Even though I’m upset that I have to stay home, I’ve realized that this is the best decision for my family and I and the safest thing for our community. If teenagers can cooperate with what the government and our parents are telling us what to do, it will help and we need to listen to them.

ASHLEY BERG

My name is Ashley Berg and I am a 17-year-old student who is in Grade 12 at Kelowna Secondary. I will admit at the beginning, the whole isolation thing was driving me crazy. I was fed up with it until one morning, the BC Government announced that school would be canceled until further notice. For most kids, this would result in happiness and joy but for a high school senior like myself, it resulted in tears. There is a chance that I might not be able to graduate high school like a normal person, might not have a commencement, a prom, dry grad and essentially live the grad year experience. I was devastated and that’s when I knew that self-isolation was necessary. I beg everyone to stay inside. Think that our grandparents were called out to fight for their lives during drastic times and all we are getting asked to do is sit on our couches. I am asking you to stay away from the public eye, stay healthy and always wash your hands!

TEAGHAN ADAMS

Self-isolation might seem hard but it can allow us to pursue passions we’ve been pushing aside or find some new hobbies. It’s not about trying not to get the virus ourselves, it’s about not spreading it to other people because if we do our part and isolate then we can stop the spread and prevent other people that might be more vulnerable from getting it. 

EMILY MACKAY

I feel it is important for everyone to self isolate since there is no cure for COVID 19 yet and it can prevent spreading. As an 18-year-old, I don’t watch or read the news so I feel like a lot of my age group didn’t take this as seriously as we were being told it is because it didn’t hit our social media outlets right away.  Let’s all self-isolate…it only takes one person to keep spreading it.

GRAYCEN MACKAY

I had a lot of things to look forward to in these upcoming months, but now they have all been canceled. Things like not being able to hang out with friends, go on trips and finish off school is very sad and frustrating because everyone has put so much work and time into it. I do feel bad for the people who are getting sick and I feel that more people need to listen to the health officer and stay inside so this can all come to an end. 

We Are All in This Together

We are all in this together!  What are you doing with your teenagers to keep them busy, engaged, positive and having fun at home? 

Stay safe and much love,

Kristy  

xoxo


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  1. Thank you for this post! As a Mum of 3 teens I really appreciate this. I have also been acutely aware of how much they have list their autonomy right now too and trying to be sensitive to giving them space (as much as possible when we are all home!) to chat online with friends and stay connected.

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