CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — It’s been months since the pandemic started, and now school is ending and teens are getting antsy.
“They want to be out; they want to be hanging out with friends,” said Dr. Kristin Canavera of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is offering a resource for young adults and parents during the pandemic. “The message they’re getting is ‘don’t do that, continue with social distancing.'”
“Together” is a website is full of conversation starters and useful information for an unusual time.
“It addresses some of the unique challenges like missing school, tips for staying on top of school and maybe getting a job, if they’re transitioning into adulthood,” she explained.
But, how can teens get a summer job…and spend time with friends safely?
“They really do think, ‘I’m not going to get COVID. This isn’t going to impact me,’ and that’s really the perfect storm for them to go out, hang out and put themselves at risk.”
And, with places beginning to re-pen, different parents will have different rules which could get awkward.
“Some might be more lenient, some might be more strict, so, this is really hard for our teens when they hear their friends can hang out but they’re not yet able to,” Canavera said.
She suggested encouraging them to meet friends outside with distance and easing-up on regular restrictions.
“Right now, I think it’s OK to be more lenient with screen time,” she said. “Those iPhones and tablets are really a primary social outlet for teens.”
Lastly, she said to show compassion to teens. Their frustration is real.
“It’s not normal for our teens to be hanging out with their parents 24/7 or with their siblings 24/7, so, we should absolutely recognize those feelings.”
Canavera said it’s a great time for parents to model adaptive coping skills.
The Together website can be found here.