Teens & Tweens: Parenting In A Pandemic

Joanne GrayWelcome back, dear readers. I hope you are all keeping well and safe. Normally with the advent of Spring we are looking forward to new beginnings and for many of our teens and tweens that means exams leading to a new chapter in their lives and holidays filled with new adventures.

Yet our previously carefree, 21st century world has been turned upside down by the pandemic and this Spring we are all forced to adapt to quite simply a new way of living.  It’s a challenge for everyone, and not surprisingly parent bloggers have been quick to share their experiences and tips on how they and their children are getting through it. Here’s what our Teen & Tween parents have had to say over the past few weeks.

Doing social distancing with teens 

Personally I was struck early on in the restrictions on our mobility, by the subject of Teens & Social Distancing.  Friendships are pivotal to a teenager’s sense of self, so social distancing and isolation was and will continue to be no doubt the biggest hardship for this age group.  It is, however, imperative that they like all of us step up and acknowledge the relatively small sacrifices we need to make for the benefit of others and that obviously we as parents enforce the importance of the role they have to play.  

On the same subject Anita Cleare director of the Positive Parenting Project advocates listening to their perspective as the first important step on helping our teens through any tricky situation and has written on Helping a Teen Through Social Distancing with questions to her own teens on the specific challenges of being isolated from their friends during the pandemic.  Their comments and thoughts will be not only familiar, but helpful to many a parent at this time.

Handling a lifestyle change with teens

Mum of Three World logoSarah at Mum Of Three World has written in her post  Coronavirus & How It is Affecting Us about the very personal effects of the isolating situation we all find ourselves in and how it has impacted on her family life. Firstly, her son has like many others across the country been denied his moment to demonstrate the hard work he has put in for his GCSE’s as well as robbed of all the milestone moments that come with completing those exams.  Add to this the limitations on their well-renowned family commitment to exercise, Sarah acknowledges the wider personal challenges that we may all face with these necessary restrictions. 

In the same vein Cheryl at Time To Craft is reflective in her post For The Forseeable Future on families finding a new rhythm, which of course will be easier for some than most.  I love Cheryl’s blog for all the insights that she offers on enjoying the real things that matter in life and this post is no different as she shares what she and her family are doing to connect and make the most of this often rare valuable time, cooking and gardening as always at the top of her list. 

Liberty on the Lighter Side imageA new rhythm is a theme also common to Liberty’s post Discombobulated where she shares thoughts probably common to many of us as we try to adapt as a family to all being together, but particularly those of a normally sole home parent where suddenly you both need to share the same work space, your habitual routine is inevitably disrupted and the teens and tweens are home too so the pressures feel greater.  Add to this the stresses of this new limited family lifestyle without our normal outlets for relaxing and unwinding ie getting out and Liberty’s post sums up what we are all no doubt thinking and feeling.

The practical stuff

Amidst all the emotional challenges we face as parents of teens at this time are the practical ones.  Firstly how do we keep our teens entertained during lockdown?  Helen at Actually Mummy canvassed opinions from her peers to compile a list full of suggestions so if you are stuck for ideas check out her post 63 Things For Teens To During Lockdown.  

In terms of keeping themselves entertained one thing is for sure, teens and tweens will inevitably be spending more time online, chatting and being, albeit virtually, with their mates but it is still important that we manage their safety.  With no school on the agenda for the short term at least, many families are turning to online tutorial sites to get their children through the next few weeks or months of no schooling, but safety in these situations remains paramount.  Emma at Emma & 3 shares her insights on Safeguarding Online During Lockdown. 

 

This is a tough period for us all as families and there will no doubt be many useful posts from those in the same boat that we can all turn to help us through it.  Please do keep sharing your posts either to me [email protected] or Liberty [email protected] during this challenging time and let us know how you are feeling and coping.  In the meantime let’s hope that there will soon be light at the end of this tunnel.   Stay home, keep safe. 

Until next time.

Jo x

More tips and advice for parenting teens

Managing technology, teaching and tantrums

The good, bad and funny aspects of parenting teens

Now more than ever: Parents share tips on raising teens 

Navigating milestones like periods and their first drink

 

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About Joanne Gray

Jo is a freelance writer and blogger at Mother of Teenagers. Previously a PR consultant for 20 years, Jo lives with her husband and two teens in London, whilst harboring a desire to return to the coast . Jo’s blog is a glimpse at the reality of parenting during the secondary school years and beyond, as well as comment and opinion on the issues and challenges teenagers face growing up. Jo also enjoys writing about a range of topics related to midlife and her own experiences of this secondary life stage. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @motherofteensuk.

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