May 14, 2020

During this time of social distancing, how do you empower your teens to study at home and maintain their wellbeing? Just because you said so or it is a good idea doesn’t make it easy to do. Even introverted teenagers can experience cabin fever.

During a quarantine, social media may well be your friend but it can also your worst enemy. It can serve as their source of learning, social engagement but it is also a distraction and can open doors to negative social exposure. Best to keep an eye on this.

I think a really useful thing to do is to carve out time to clearly explain the do’s, the don’ts and the whys of social distancing. Be patient because they may not agree with your whys and it might be better to help them figure out their own “whys”. Being clear will help empower them to self-manage. You know you’ve succeeded in this if you don’t need to manage them as much and seen as less of a “nag”.

The best “work from home tips” should also apply to “learn from home”. Tips include 1) Identify a learning area in your home and organise it to be conducive to learning.   2) Keep some morning rituals of “getting ready for school” the same even though they are only going to the next room or a learning corner 3) Help them define their end of day goals and 4) Have enough breaks and a reward scheme for when they achieve their milestones.

Helping them maintain their well-being is also very important during this time. Encourage them to exercise and find things to do that better themselves. To read, complete a puzzle, learn yoga or learn a musical instrument. Learn life skills like cooking, sewing, upcycling furniture or do art like drawing or painting or crafting. Doing these things as a family will not only be fun but should also strengthen your relationships. Important in succeeding in this is to really carve time for it. It won’t happen by itself. You don’t want to end up bingeing Netflix the whole time(!)

Hopefully, when the pandemic is over, you can look back to this time and see it as a time that made you and your family became stronger and better.