Parenting Your Teen During COVID-19
Apr 21, 2020
We love and care for our teens. Because we’re stuck at home, we might be spending more time with our teens than ever. Even still, there is fierce competition for our time. For them; on-line classes, video chats with friends, and a giant sea swell of social media sites that may or may not be around before you ever hear their name, on top of video and music streaming. I haven’t even mentioned the whole gaming world. For us, it is work at home, house work, our spouse, other children, the hunt for goods (translate: grocery shopping), prepping meals, prepping meals (they’re teens, remember?) – you get the picture. Yes, we love and care for these not-yet-adults who experience the same real world relational, emotional and physical stress that we, their parents and adults who love them, do.
What is going on in their heads? How are they responding? And, how can we help them navigate through something that is just as foreign to us? We want to use wisdom instead of worry in this pandemic and we want to use wisdom instead of worry concerning our teens!
We don’t pretend to have ALL the answers – we’re just “practicing” with our kids too. But we’ve found some great resources that we would love to share with you. And we want to hear what is working in your house, too.
Every teen has SOMETHING they’re good at. Our youngest daughter loves to write and can express her emotions much more easily on paper than in-person, even to the people who live with her. We challenged her to write for this article. She took a couple of days but came thorough!
Your teen may be good at crafts, painting, music or VIDEO gaming. Yes, sitting with your teen while they’re playing, or talking about the latest game at the dinner table, can create a sense of “care” for what they love to do. Give them an “assignment” that uses their gifts. Preface the request with, “You’re so good at this.” Not up to speed on the current games, music playlists, or technology? Ask them to teach you! Tell them you need help with your phone or to create a playlist. It’s the interaction that demonstrates an openness to conversation and relationship.
One of the best parenting teen resources with a Christian perspective we’ve found is Axis.org. Axis is a group of Millennials out of Colorado who provide “cultural translation” to help understand Gen Z. They provide free and paid content and materials. They have no connection to Medi-share but we believe
they’re well worth checking out.
Another good resource is YouVersion. You can download the YouVersion app and search Youth. You’ll get a surplus of teen studies, thoughts for the day, and 2-minute devotionals. Tip: though you teen may not read the devotionals, you can and then talk about the content on their level. You get the added bonus of being in God’s word as you prepare to connect with your teen.
Having our lives uprooted by the COVID-19 quarantine is complicated and disturbing for all of us. It leaves us with a lot of questions about the future, our teen’s world. One positive action we can take during this time is to intentionally connect with our young people and help them navigate the future
with a godly perspective.