Why is my teenager having such a hard time with physical distancing?
Raising teenagers during COVID-19 is no easy task.
According to MindBeacon™, an important developmental milestone for a teenager is building autonomy and independence from their parents or caregivers. For many teenagers, time spent with their peers is how they develop their independence and sense of self.
During quarantine, it can be difficult to balance expectations and risk.
Your teenager and risk
The teenage brain is not wired to process risk in the same way the adult brain is. When given the opportunity, they have a higher likelihood of choosing risk1.
How can you help? MindBeacon recommends the following:
- Try regular open conversations about physical distancing rules
- Validate your teens feelings about the new rules and guidelines
- Stay firm in your expectations, consistency is key
- Keep an open mind to ways your teenager can stay connected to their peers – yes this may mean more screen time
Bending the typical household rules, such as adding more screen time, may help you find a middle ground with your teen and physical distancing expectations.
Remember, when your teenager insists on seeing friends, they’re craving peer interaction and aren’t thinking as much about the risk to themselves or others due to COVID-19. While it may be tempting to give in – it’s important to stay firm with your expectations.
As always, be sincere and compassionate to help your teenager deal with the new rules and loss of freedom.