Although COVID-19 has been devastating for everyone, but are you aware that its adverse effects have impacted teenagers more than adults? A lot of people think that it’s because they miss their high school friends or that they won’t be able to attend their proms anymore, or that they won’t be able to celebrate their graduation. However, it’s more than this. Experts revealed that there is a science behind this.
“Teenagers and college students have amplified innate, developmental motivations that make them hard to isolate at home. The hormonal changes that come with puberty conspire with adolescent social dynamics to make them highly attuned to social status and peer group,” shares Christine L. Carter, Ph.D., a sociologist and author of Raising Happiness, The Sweet Spot, and The New Adolescence.
If you are a parent wondering how you can handle your teenager with anxiety, do not worry too much. Listed below are some of the most effective coping strategies for teenagers with anxiety amid COVID-19.
Anxiety is normal, whether in a global pandemic or not. However, not all adolescents, and even adults, know this face. Research shows that teenagers fear the presence of anxiety, and they think so lowly of themselves. What you can do as a parent is to send a message to your children that healthy stress has its purpose.
You must emphasize to them that feeling anxious right now makes sense. Assure your teenagers that they are posing the right reaction to whatever’s happening in the whole world amid the coronavirus. Once they know this, they’ll feel more relaxed and feel more comfortable with expressing their feelings.
Whenever individuals consult with their psychologists, these experts help them divide their problems into two categories — issues that I can do something about and concerns that there’s nothing I can do. The pandemic falls on the second.
Since we can’t do something about it as of now, then one of the best ways to manage our anxiety is to create distractions for ourselves. As a parent, it’s your job to spearhead activities for your young adult. You may opt to watch movies with them, recommend books they can read for the day, set up family board game nights, and other household tutorial activities.
Understand Their Frustration Over Their Social Lives
Teenagers value friendship so much. Bonding with their peers is something they treasure in their daily lives. Therefore, if your child keeps on sulking about not seeing their friends or being stuck with their annoying siblings, don’t get frustrated. Instead, talk to them directly and calmly.
First and foremost, acknowledge what they’re feeling. Tell your children that it’s understandable that they are feeling this way. Then once you have assured them that you’re okay with talking about this topic, wait for them to open up. Your job is to listen to what they are feeling for them to be able to release the anxiety that they are feeling. The most critical part of this talk is to come to a compromise on how you can ease the situation and make their stress more bearable for them.
Recommend Ways On How They Can Connect With Friends
With the emergence of the digital era, it’s not that hard to look for ways to connect with friends. There are various social media platforms they can use to talk to them. However, you have to recommend as well that they need to look for ways to put these platforms to good use.
For one, a lot of teenagers nowadays join several Tik-Tok challenges promoting safety in this pandemic. An example of this is the #safehands challenge, where users take videos of themselves doing proper handwashing in the most creative ways. Connecting with their friends through these causes will keep them preoccupied, thus, lowering their anxiety.
Encourage Healthy Habits
There is a high chance that teens will live an unhealthy lifestyle during this stressful time. Losing their healthy habits will only increase one’s anxiety levels. As a parent, it is your role to promote and sustain your child’s health practice. Make sure to establish new routines that will revolve around eating correctly, sleeping adequately, exercising regularly, and engaging in social activities.
Raising teenagers in this crisis might be challenging. However, if you apply the tips above, rest assured that your teen’s anxiety will slowly disappear. Just keep your efforts consistent, and everything will follow.