5 challenges that teenagers face in Covid-19. How parents can help.

The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken everyone to the core worldwide. We have had to get used to “the new normal”. Working from home, financial stress, social distancing, anxiety over health in the family, and additional household chores are taking a toll on most people. We take for granted the resilience of the teenagers in our families that being young they adapt without a problem. The pandemic has a greater impact on them than adults. Sudden school closures, social and physical distancing, fear and anxiety of the effect on their families and their future, all lead to huge uncertainty. All this is happening at a time when they are going through momentous changes, physically and mentally. The adolescent brain does not have the maturity and is going through structural changes. This makes them prone to anxiety and stress. This is a time when social interaction with peers is necessary to build social skills and a sense of identity. There are problems which all young adults are facing and parents play a huge role in sorting them out.

1.Being denied graduation, sports, going to college

For many teenagers, the agonizing part of schools closing is that they are missing out on activities that are a prelude for college, whether it is dramatics, sports or graduation ceremonies. They would be missing activities that would facilitate scholarships and applications to colleges. Understandably, they are anxious for their future. Time lost to them forever. There is also difficulty in getting used to the concept of online classes. There is not much opportunity for the teacher to explain or for the students to ask questions. The interaction between student and teacher is being missed.

Parents need to encourage them to talk about their worries and listen without passing judgment. Without making little of the young adult`s anxieties they should acknowledge and accept their grievances because they are very real. Without giving them assurances that everything will be alright they must show confidence that the adolescent will find a way out. Establishing a routine where schoolwork and homework are done regularly with participation from parents, as a matter of course.

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