How a Lockdown Is Limiting Your Teen’s Self-Identity, And How To Address It

During the coronavirus shutdown, many families in different countries, states, and cities have been forced to self-isolate and become homebound. This shutdown has included parents working from home, kids completing online schooling, and many local businesses, restaurants, and more.

While this has affected many people, unfortunately, the impact it can have on teenagers may be negative, as it can impact their ability to develop their self-identity. To minimize the impact on your teen's self-identity, here are some things our residential treatment center for troubled teens recommends.

Encourage Connection With Friends

Children and adults are feeling the sting of social isolation that comes with the need to social distance themselves from friends and even family if those family members don't share the same household. This enforced distance can be stressful and depressing, so it is essential that parents encourage their teens to connect with their friends.

Friends play an important role in your teen's development of self, which is why it is vital that your teenager has good influences. Some ways your teen can connect with friends are:

  • Good old-fashioned phone calls
  • Video chatting (FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.)
  • Playing games online together
  • Email, postcards, or letters
  • Look For Ways To Make Special Memories

    Many teens feel like they are missing out on making special memories that other kids their age have been able to make, especially high school seniors. While you can't replace some of these memories, there are ways you can try and make special memories with your teenager.

  • Have an at-home graduation ceremony—go all out and decorate!
  • Try some home science lab experiments, from premade chemistry kids to homemade experiments.
  • Take social distancing field trips. Go bird watching, identify local plants, and other nature-focused activities.
  • Consider Remote Therapy Options

    Higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression are being experienced by isolated teens, and simply talking to you, and their friends may not be enough to overcome these feelings. In these cases, remote mental health options may be ideal.

    Our program focuses on mental health for teen boys as a good mental and emotional foundation can better help teens develop a healthy sense of self-identity. There are online therapy options where teens can text, call, and video chat licensed therapists so that you can help your teen develop a good foundation.

    Promote Regular Exercise

    Exercise can do a lot to help keep your teen's spirits up and their body healthy. Also, with a regular exercise routine, your teen can have a sense of normalcy while everything else is so topsy-turvy. Your teen can also enjoy some time outside working out, going on walks, runs, bike riding, etc.

    If your teen is struggling to exercise on their own, you can jump in. Setting a good example for your teenager is one of the best things you can do, and it can encourage your teen to stay accountable.

    Help Your Teen Learn New Hobbies

    Part of developing self-identity is based on our skills, interests, and hobbies. With most social hobbies on hold, your teen may need some help finding other interests to try out and enjoy. Some things your teenager may enjoy trying out are:

  • Learning an instrument with or without an online teacher
  • Artistic crafts (crochet, knitting, ceramics, painting, etc.)
  • Computer coding (many free and paid teaching options online)
  • Writing, both creative and nonfiction
  • By taking these steps, you can proactively help your teen continue their self-identity development even while traditional methods are off-limits.

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