Parenting Tweens and Teens Today
Adolescence is a transitional time, typically filled with increased independence, exploration, important friendships and social interactions, and separations from parents. With the social distancing recommendations and restrictions now in place, many parents are spending increased time with their tweens and teens than before.
Licensed clinical psychologist, Rebecca “Dr. Becky” Kennedy, gives some basic advice for parents about interacting with tweens and teens during the COVID-19 pandemic. In her short introductory video, she makes three main points:
Your only job is to understand her feelings and give her permission to feel those feelings. It is not your job to change her feelings or offer a different perspective.
For example, when your child expresses sadness, you can respond by acknowledging her feelings, saying, “I understand why you are sad. That makes sense.” Reassure her that it is okay to be angry with a statement that articulates her feelings, such as, “You did not expect your senior year to be like this. It is okay to feel mad.”
Connecting to your daughter in this way will give her the opportunity to build resilience and shift perspective.
Doing school work entirely from home is a huge change and often challenging for many students. Parents can help their tween and teen students by resisting the urge to correct or criticize. Instead, limit your comments to praise about their good effort, strong focus, and your pride in their ability to transition and cope with the change.
Connect with honesty. During a moment when you are both calm, let your daughter know that you think about her and how this must be so difficult for her to experience.
Dr. Becky shares this advice in her video located on Instagram along with other timely advice and reassurance for parents. For those who wish to learn more, she has written several articles on her website www.drbeckyathome.com and has created fee-based courses for parents at drbecky.thinkific.com.