Updated: Apr 10, 2020
As positive cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in our community, preventative steps to keeping your family safe have become abundantly clear, but how do you effectively communicate these with your teenagers? According to the CDC, two important steps to protect you and your family are to clean hands often and avoid close contact with others. Although these are easy concepts to grasp, young adults tend to hit a roadblock with the second step. See, as teenagers begin to discover who they are, they heavily rely on social interactions with their peers in the community. This social longing coupled with a sense of invincibility can lead to many teens and young adults not complying with social distancing guidelines.
But how can you get through to your kids? Let’s start with the basics. Sit your teenager down and discuss the importance of social distancing. Acknowledge that it must be difficult for them to be away from their friends for long periods. Although it appears that older crowds are more prone to having severe cases of COVID-19, explain that younger generations are still at risk of catching the virus. Our biggest hurdle as a community is preventing the spread of asymptomatic cases. As a parent, here are some things you can do to help ease your teen during social distancing:
1. Encourage healthy usage of social media to keep in contact with their friends and
lessen time limits placed on their internet usage. 2. With most youth having a smart phone, invite youth to video call their friends. With a
recent update, Facetime by Apple now allows for groups of friends to video chat all at
once. 3. Motivate youth to explore their yard. During a pandemic, it is important to keep the
immune system optimal. By shooting hoops outside, tossing around a ball, or jumping on the trampoline helps youth stay active and absorb vitamin D, promoting a healthy immune system.
At the end of the day, quarantine can seem like a burden on both parents and their kids but it doesn’t have to. Let us use this as an opportunity to grow closer as a family, a community, and a nation. We are all in this isolation together. Stay strong Tulsa.