7 Ways to Support Kids and Teens Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
How to keep your teens engage during a pandemic?
The second wave of the COVID-19 virus has been tough on everyone. The doctors, nurses, daily wagers, middle-class people, mothers, teachers, even the students are suffering a lot. The first year of the pandemic was still way better as it was a whole new concept for everyone. Everyone was quite comfortable as it was a break much needed to have quality time to spend with their respective families. People were working happily from home. The students and teachers were engaged with online studies or so. And later the schools were reopened in January. But due to an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, they have shut again.
After the shutting of schools and postponement of exams, the teenagers are getting too much bored. The rescheduling of exams is uncertain as there is a possibility of a third wave. Hence, utilizing the majority of their time on cell phones and on procrastinating. Parents are now finding ways to part them from their phones and kill their boredom. Here are some ways which may help you to keep your teens engaged during a pandemic, let us know if it was helpful.
1. Make them read books:
Teens are wasting their time on social media scrolling memes and chatting with their friends. Parents nowadays don’t even have control over what they are watching. Monitoring their feed is kind of invading personal space too but how to end this? The alternative is to make them read some books. Books can be helpful to them. You can buy Harry Porter for starters. If they are not huge fans of storybooks then make them read self-help books (More preferable for elder teens). You may buy them comic books too. The plan is to make them read something so any book can work. This will increase their reading speed, enhance their vocabulary, and also teach them good values.
If physical books are not available then you may also go for e-books. As long as their wasteful screen time is decreasing, everything works. Even a dictionary also works.
2. Make them learn new languages:
Today’s generation is a lot into talking with abbreviations. Abbreviations are the new lingo! Blimey…
It is easy for this generation to catch up on things faster than the previous one. Learning a new language takes a lot of investment of time, concentration and memory which is good as the teens are engaged in a worthy activity. Learning a new language can also help them on their resume. It can also open their doors for further studies abroad. They can also learn fun facts about languages.
Do you know? The most spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese.
3. Make them do household chores:
Many celebrities have posted their videos on social media doing household chores. But that’s not the point. They have got wide media coverage and inspired by them, many people have started doing household chores (just to show off), which is absurd. It is absurd because there is nothing special in doing household chores. Household chores aren’t a big deal, most of the moms do it every day without showing it off or posting it on social media.
Household chores are life skills, they can never go in vain. Most people think that only girls should learn these things, NO, you’re completely wrong. The teens who desire to stay alone in the future should learn this which includes boys too. Our moms or maids are not going to help us forever. Learning how to sweep, wash clothes, wash utensils or cook food should never be shameful.
4. Make them write a diary:
During this pandemic time, while the studies are on a pause, teenagers are under a mental burden as they are not allowed to meet friends or go out and play. The schools are also shut hence they are sitting idle at home and that is increasing the chances for them to go through a mental breakdown.
Writing a diary can make a huge impact on their life. Many teenagers don’t like to share their feelings with anyone. They often feel that their parents don’t understand them but writing a diary can help them. You can trust me on this because it has made an impact on my life too. Writing down about their day or their feelings can help to strengthen their mental health. It can relieve stress, help you to keep yourself more organized, helps you to introspect, boost memory and inspire creativity. It often helps you to reach goals. But always remember, it should be a handwritten diary.
5. Make them explore their hobbies:
Teens have plenty of time to spend doing nothing. But procrastination is bad for them. This age is to keep yourselves operative. This time should not be spent after doing useless activities. It is the time when a teen deserves to get nurtured. It is the time when they should explore their hobbies and what they want to do in their future. And parents should be helpful to them in every which way.
Parents should encourage them to go after their dreams instead of making their runs after the things which may not be good for them. The difference between a dream and a hobby should be made clear. Parents of teens should make sure that their teens are doing at least one productive activity per day. Be it dancing, singing, painting or anything, you MUST help them to explore themselves.
6. Make them attached with nature:
Nowadays, teens have drifted away from nature. Under this concrete jungle, they have forgotten what actual forests and mountains are! The organic lifestyle should be introduced. By organic lifestyle, I mean a healthy and organized lifestyle. You can make your teens learn Yoga or make them do exercises. You should make them dishes which are healthy yet tasty.
Take them to the terrace and let them breathe in the fresh air. Take them with you in the morning and watch sunrises with them, take them with you in the evenings or nights, and let them wander around sunsets and the night sky.
7. Make them educate about values:
The playgrounds and society compound used to be so noisy before the 2010s. Kids used to roam around and play new games. If you’re from India then you must have played Pakdam Pakdai, Gilli Danda, Kanche, I-spy (often called aaispaais), Chuppan Chuppai, Chor Police, Badminton, Gully Cricket (basically cricket only but played by customized rules made by the kids who are playing) and the list goes on. People used to meet a lot of OFFLINE and have an actual chat. Teens used to spend a lot of time with their parents also. Family gatherings did not use to be awkward.
While today, the only games played are online games. People meet and greet each other ONLINE (which is mandatory in this pandemic). But too much surfing on social media is abysmal. Teaching your teens how to stay authentic while being modern is surely difficult but not impossible. How to have a conversation or killing social anxiety/awkwardness is an issue to be discussed. You may also talk to them and try to be a friend, this asks you to NOT judge them.
It’s a tough job to raise teens of this generation but you have to try your best. It has been tough on everyone right now, too much disturbing, but it is your job to cheer them up as parents.