How to survive confinement with a teenager at home

Adolescence is a stage in which the autonomy, independence and distance of the adult are vital, so this age group is suffering intensely from the so-called quarantine . This is explained by the psychologist Pilar Conde, who recommends the search for a balance between the house rules for these days and a certain permissiveness in terms of spaces and times , to avoid a feeling of helplessness and suffocation taking over them.

In this stage, explains the technical director of Origin Clinics, one lives daily, in the short term, in the intensity of social and affective relationships. At these ages, friendships are crucial to development. In addition, everything turns in the immediate: the meetings with friends, sports in high school, going out on weekends . If the desire for new sensations and new experiences is added to this instantaneous search for happiness, “not being able to experience it is experienced as a loss and with a more intense frustration than we adults can experience”.

This frustration, adds the expert, may be compounded by a misunderstanding of the imposed rules. The adolescent has a focus of attention directed towards himself, making it more difficult to make him understand the importance of being at home to help others. On the other hand, it is a time when “you believe you are invincible and think that nothing can happen to you . ” If we add to this that the media insist on the incidence of the disease in the elderly, they end up thinking that they are not at risk, so they can tolerate confinement worse.

At this point it is better not to try to impose ourselves with our opinions, but to use as reference the experts and the decisions that are made and why they are made. It may help to watch some type of video, information or documentary with them to help them understand what is happening.

As for the tasks, it is advisable to trust their responsibility to organize and distribute study and free time, in addition to agreeing with the parents on a minimum of joint leisure time. For example, watching a movie or playing sports with your family.

In addition, Pilar Conde, leaves us, from Origen, these tips to help adolescents to pass the confinement :

Validate your emotional states. It is normal that they feel frustrated, that it does not seem fair. Not telling them how they have to feel. It is good to say that we know that it is not fair, but that you have to decide how you want to deal with it.

Agree with them on healthy habits .

Allow them to have contact with their friends , as well as to make dynamics between them.

Tolerating your privacy in your room. You are serving confinement, but you need to spend time without parental supervision.

If we hear things that you are talking about with your friends , do not enter, it is important that you perceive that you are intimate.

You can set a complaint time per day . Ok now you have these 20 minutes to complain about the situation and we are not going to challenge you.

Talk about what is happening , respect their opinions and take them into account.

When all this is over, as the phrase, so widely used, reads, parents, guardians and teachers will have to reevaluate the situation with them. It will be normal then that they want to do everything they have not been able to do and more at the end of the risk of contagion by covid19. It will be the adults’ job at that time, to set limits and set conditions. If the boys are already expressing these wishes for new experiences out loud, even fantasizing and exaggerating, the psychologist warns, the correct thing to do is to tell them that when the time comes, it will be valued and that the current circumstances will be taken into account to make a decision. If something is not going to be possible, for example traveling without adult supervision, it is better to make it clear now. If, on the contrary, a desire is viable, it will be very good for the adolescent to be able to visualize it.

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