The demands of COVID-19 have been difficult for everyone. For teens and tweens, there has also been a fair amount of loss. Beyond missing out on major rites of passage, this past year has also meant the loss of everyday experiences, connection with friends and independence – at precisely the time in their lives when all of it is so important.
As parents, here are a few ways we can help them through this challenging time.
Parenting is tough, period…but during a pandemic, it’s even harder! If you’re living with teens, your parenting skills have likely been stretched a lot lately. Your teen may feel frustrated and disappointed about missed opportunities like milestone celebrations. So how can we support teens who want to test their independence during a very restrictive time?
As I wake up to another beautiful spring day, I am filled with joy. Birds are singing; the flowers are blooming; and I have time to enjoy a cup of Chai tea before heading to work.
And yet…and yet. I hear the birds clearly, because my neighbourhood is now quiet. I keep checking on my daffodils through the window, because I no longer travel 30 kilometres to work….instead I walk a few steps to my new office in my home. And if I’m not careful, that cup of tea will be followed by another and another as I adjust to my new routine and try not to think about COVID-19.
I remember getting my kids bundled up for winter outdoor activities. What a process! First figuring out what activity to do and then telling myself – maybe more than my kids, that going out into the cold weather would be fun. Then getting them ready to go outside by putting on snow pants, boots, coats, hats, scarves and mitts, while they squirmed and said that they were hot. By the time we were done, I’d already had a workout and needed to rest!
I feel like I’m in a golden age of parenting. My kids are in their tween years (defined as being between the ages of 8 to 12 years). The exhausting days of early parenting are far behind me. My kids are doing more things on their own and often surprise me by what they can do. Yet they still need me and I have lots of input into their decisions. Sure, their brains are still developing which makes for regular emotional outbursts leaving me to wonder at times, who are these children? But for the most part, I love it!