How To Help Teens Cope With Social Distancing
Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The cancellation of school, sports, and regular social interaction in Term 1 made it clear that COVID-19 was going to severely disrupt our lives. But few would have guessed at how long social distancing rules would be in place.
While specific social distancing rules in each state are changing as medical understanding of the Coronavirus evolves, our teenagers will be expected to comply with social restrictions for quite some time. For some, this means remaining at home, losing their after-school jobs, no hanging out with friends, cancelled sporting events, and fewer opportunities to talk to people outside their immediate family. It’s no wonder many teenagers are struggling with feelings of uncertainty or isolation.
For parents, having their teenagers confined to home during the Coronavirus crisis may not be as demanding or labour-intensive as looking after toddlers, but it definitely has its own unique challenges. Young primary-aged kids might be overjoyed at the idea of no school and hanging out doing craft with mum and dad, but teenagers are likely to have a different opinion.
Is Your Teen Struggling With Social Distancing?
Teens and young adults are more likely to struggle with the lack of socialising, no exercise, and limited entertainment resulting from social distancing. For teenagers who had dreams of spreading their wings and increasing freedom in 2020, the reality is a vastly different experience. They might be frustrated at not being able to see their friends or feeling resentful over the cancelation of important events.
For Year 7 students newly adjusting to high school and making new friendships, they might feel this time spent isolated from their peers will mean a loss of friends. Year 12 students who had expected to be setting the framework for their future career might be feeling anxious and uncertain. For teenagers in general, their friends are their world. The teen brain is hardwired to seek out connection and social interaction. So, being stuck at home with Mum, Dad, and their annoying younger siblings is not going to be on the top of their list of favourite things to do.
Ways to Help Teens Cope with Social Distancing Isolation
As we all heed the call to stay home, you might be looking for ideas on ways to help your teen cope with social distancing and feeling of isolation. Fun new activities, a new hobby, and something to look forward to each day will help your teen stay positive. The need for social distancing has the potential for increasing loneliness as our previously social teenagers need to isolate themselves. While parents may normally be strict about limiting technology and device time, a teenager’s phone is now the best way for them to maintain social connections.
While still encouraging healthy behaviours, loosening rules about time spent on social media is a simple way to help compensate for the lack of socialising time they’d usually enjoy at school. Connecting with their friends face-to-face via Zoom, Houseparty, or FaceTime could well be a life-saver. Finding fun activities for them to share with their friends remotely will make it easier for them to maintain their social connections.
Five Ways To Keep Teens Entertained At Home
1. Backyard Sports
Getting off their devices and outside for some exercise is essential for burning off all that teen energy. If you’re stuck at home, you need to choose a fun activity for kids to do in the backyard. When looking for new ideas for backyard sports it can be hard to find something fun your kids can do at home together. Gifts Australia has a range of great gifts for teens that are suitable for the backyard and fun to use at home. If your teenager needs a little extra motivation to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, they’ll love their own at-home Laser Tag Game. A laser tag set is something fun for 2 people to do at home so it’s great for siblings or as something you can do together with your teen. A backyard Bocce Set is another great backyard activity the whole family can enjoy while social distancing.
Backyard Bocce will keep your teen entertained.
2. Board Games for Teenagers
Grab a selection of fast and fun board games that you can play with your teen or that the family can enjoy together. Having a range of new games that you rotate helps to keep things fun and avoid boredom. Fast paced games like the 5 Second Rule Mini Game or the Anti-Monopoly Game are things your teen will enjoy. For a more immersive game and for something a little bit different, choose the Murder Mystery family game for teens aged 14 and over. Older teens aged 16 and over would love the Host Your Own Escape Room game. Low-pressure family activities like board games, card games, and quizzes are fun things to do together and will have the added benefit of creating fun family memories of the lockdown period.
Host an escape room from the comfort of your own home.
3. Books, Books, and More Books
You can never have too many books, especially when there’s plenty of time to read. Taking a book outside to read in the sunshine is a great way for your teen to clear their head. An inspiring book for teens to encourage them to action and live their life to the fullest is the You Only Live Once book – a great way to motivate your teen to find their passion. If your teenager is obsessed with Marvel movies or comics, they’ll love the Obsessed With Marvel book. It’s not quite a zombie apocalypse, but the hilarious Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse is a fun book your teen will enjoy. Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different is a great book gift for teen boys and Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls is a matching gift for teen girls. For something a little light-hearted, your teen would enjoy the Annoy Your Friends By Mail Postcard Book. It comes with detachable postcards that they can use to send some snail-mail to their friends as a novel way to keep in touch while they are physically distant.
Make them laugh with this hilarious book.
4. Tech Gadgets for Teens
You don’t have to be stuck at home with virtual reality! Using just their smartphone, your teen will enjoy exploring the world and a heap of fun VR apps with Virtual Reality Glasses. From museum tours to action games there’s something new to do every day. For some backyard active fun with VR, an Augmented Reality Blaster Handgun will be a great way to encourage some physical activity for your teen! If they love music or are spending time chatting online with friends, they’ll love a high-quality Wireless Bluetooth Headset. A wireless headset also makes it easier for them to join school Zoom classes alongside their Google classroom lessons.
Enter the world of augmented reality.
5. Puzzles and Nano-Lego
If your teen likes to fidget and keep their hands busy, they’ll love a selection of puzzles or tiny Lego-style Nanoblocks. Gifts Australia has a huge range of Nanoblocks including animals, a pirate ship, motorcycle, and more. A great idea for a unique activity for creative teens is a colouring-in 3D puzzle book available in a Dog Puzzle Book and Cat Puzzle Book. For a puzzle game to last all year, the Rubik Puzzle A Day Desk Block has 365 puzzles all perfect for teens! If you’re still dealing with a toilet paper shortage, you could even buy a novelty Crossword Puzzle Toilet Roll.
This Nanoblock Bulldog will keep them occupied.
Order Online for Fun Activities for Teens
Social distancing might not be a whole lot of fun for your teen, but with some creative thinking and armed with some fun new activities, you can find a way to make 2020 a great year for your teenagers. If you’re looking for great isolation birthday party ideas for your teen, we have curated gift ranges specifically for teenage girls and teenage boys.
Gifts Australia has a heap of the best gift ideas teens will love. Shop online and find fun things to do at home with your family. To help you save money, all purchases over $99 qualify for free shipping Australia wide.