Updated: Sep 12, 2021
If you are desiring connection with your teen and family during this season, we want to encourage you that simple can be effective. We realize that this process will contain trial and error. There is grace for you as you endeavor to connect and navigate life at home.
Look for opportunities to laugh and play together. Have a game night. Spend time in the sun. Camp in your backyard. Play sardines. Have a dance party. Have fun with it!
Create family rhythms that fit your family style. A regular meal time, prayer time, or fun time can create structure in a connective way. Sit down and decide on rhythms together, asking your teen for ideas and feedback.
Pursue creativity. Encourage your teen to paint, bake, write, play the guitar – any activity that fits your teen. Do these activities together, if possible. You could write a story together or do a photo scavenger hunt around the house.
Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions like, “How did online school go today?” versus yes-or-no questions like, “Did online school go well today?”
Ask your teen about how they are doing. You can ask, “What has all of this change been like for you?” or “How are you doing adjusting to the losses with school, sports, and friends right now?” Give your teen space to talk and explore how they are feeling. Avoid the urge to “fix” their feelings, instead listen and validate how they are doing. You may ask the best question and still some teens may not be open to talking. It is okay to give them time alone to process.
Pray with them. Ask your teen if they have any prayer requests. If they are open, pray together for their needs. If they have questions about God in this season, explore those questions together. They may be interested in doing a Bible study with you on a certain topic. Give them ownership to choose what you study.
Fuller Youth Institute – Naming Loss and Gratitude with Young People
The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds – 7 Ways to Support Kids and Teens Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
Supportive Social and Emotional Parent Resources and Articles
Axis – 14 Things To Do With Teens If You’re Quarantined for COVID-19
Grace Alliance – Faith-based mental health resources and tools, downloadable “Thrive” guide
Child Mind Institute – Supporting Teenagers and Young Adults During the Coronavirus Crisis
Having Concerns About Your Child's Mental Health?
Noticing concerning behavioral changes? Worried about increasing anxiety, depression, ongoing sadness, withdrawing or isolating behavior in your teen and would like to seek help? Contact us. Relax, you're in the right place.