How to deal with our angry teenagers in times of Covid-19 - vitapsy


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How to deal with our angry teenagers in times of Covid-19

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Early, middle and late adolescence, are the three stages of what we call "teenage years" that begin at age 10 and end around the age 19, it is the period of growth (physically, mentally and emotionally) between childhood and adulthood. These are the years that mold us into the adults we later become, a period of hormonal changes, emotional changes, peer pressure, sexual behavior, and overall identity development.
Conflict is the key word in most teenage development years, because young people are trying to figure out who they are, their identities are shaped slowly and the formation of a young adult starts with the end of late adolescence.
Covid-19 can be especially hard on teenagers, because of the emotional roller coaster they go through naturally, teenage years are years of anger, confusion and loneliness facing a complicated, strange world to them, with the impression and/or illusion that no one can understand their feelings especially their parents, and today they are confined, living in a lockdown, quarantined "prison" is what it might seem like to them, with no one other than their rivals, their biggest enemies, their parents!

On the other hand, most parents struggle with the idea of their "babies" growing up, they try forcing their teenagers into conforming to certain standards, and take the rebellion phase personally. Mothers and fathers secretly panic and even deeper, they might go all the way by questioning their parenting skills, and their children's love and attachment.
Teenagers are more susceptible to the problems we face daily, like stress, self-esteem and body image, bullying and depression and lots of mental health issues which cause impulsive behavior that does not fall into the health measures we are currently obligated to follow to secure our future and protect more vulnerable populations.
In Europe for example, early stages of the CoronaVirus Pandemic, the highest rate of Covid-19 contraction was within the young adult's population at first, because of the lack of compliance to "shelter in place" orders, teenagers are more prone to higher risk behaviors, and because graduations are cancelled, sports events and spending time with their friends is nearly impossible, today's youth sees social isolation as a bigger threat than Covid-19.
If we expect teens to sacrifice their well-being for the benefit of the older generation, knowing that the danger of Covid-19 to teens statistically is lower than older adults, we must give in return, as a community, we cannot shame them for acting like teenagers, for being somewhat irresponsible, we must have awareness plans that can reach them and talk to their persona. We must understand that social relationships and friendships that teenagers forge, although sometimes frowned upon, are a critical developmental task, they learn and practice social and emotional skills through these relationships and ensure their security net, that is now compromised because of the harsh isolation they are living.
We as parents, have the responsibility to make their loss easier, we should encourage their social connections and help their continuity all the while talking to them about the dangers of Covid-19, express our appreciation for them complying to the health measures, forgive them quickly if they make a mistake, there's no point in guilt trips, and most importantly understand that it is natural for teens not to desire spending "family time" so let's just not force it down their throats, they already have lots of changes to deal with.
More empathy, give them some space and stay very aware of their online interactions. Keep in mind that predators are always on the lookout.

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