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Guest author's article originally published HERE and re-posted below with permission.
There is no easy way to tell a teen that schools might not even go back to session this academic year as many of them are struggling with dealing with feelings of loneliness and frustration at having to stay home with their families right now. This is so understandable considering that teens are at an age where they are going to crave connection with their peers, not with their families.
I think that there is no easy way to deal with the feelings of loneliness that are going to come up for teens as a result of social/physical distancing. What I mean is that I don’t think teens are magically going to feel better until this situation is over. However, I think there are some things parents can do to support them and help them get through this situation.
Allow honest dialogue and conversation
Show compassion and understanding
Validate how they are feeling and join them in sharing that you may be struggling with feeling isolated as well
Come up with strategies and ideas together
From there, your goal is to elicit ideas from your teen as to how they can get through this situation. You can offer ideas, but try not to make them one big to do list of things they need to accomplish. I think one byproduct of having a slower pace in our lives is that our teens can get some much needed down time right now. Let’s encourage that and allow them to figure out new things they might want to try or new ways to connect with friends.
About the author, Dr. Erica Wollerman from Thrive Therapy Studio:
I am a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 25614) and have held a passion towards helping people since beginning my career in psychology in 2006. It is that drive and passion that led me into my work with families, children, teens, and adults. What has kept me in this area of work is the joy that comes with helping people accomplish their goals and work through the areas of challenge that led them into my office. Witnessing growth, transformation, empowerment, and genuine change on a daily basis is such a blessing and honor for me. While we work together, you will know that you are not alone in your struggles and you will feel supported by me in an authentic and genuine way.