• Anja Dreyer

Five ways you can support your teenagers' academics and mental health during the pandemic

Updated: May 26

While we're all learning how to adapt to our new world, here are five ways that you can support your teenagers' academics and mental health during the pandemic.

1. Help your children stay in a routine

Staying in a routine is one of the best things, apart from exercise, to keep us in good mental health. By helping your children stay in a routine with their schoolwork and chores, it will help them to feel active, ultimately contributing to a good mood and productivity.

2. Try to understand that their grades may drop a little

There is a fine line between using pressure to perform better, and not being able to perform at all. Help your children understand that they should be doing the best they can, but if it is not as good as before, then that is okay, too. Online learning is vastly different from being in the classroom, and even if your children are receiving Zoom lessons, the instruction they are receiving cannot possibly give them the same feeling as in-class instruction. Tactile learning is taken completely off the table when it comes to online learning, and this will disadvantage many learners.

3. Get help from an online tutor

Private tutoring has many benefits, and apart from being a great way for the children to work through their schoolwork and get individual attention for the things they don't understand, sometimes it's just better to get help from someone who isn't your parent. Teaching and learning can be a point of stress for many parents and their children, and getting help from a private tutor may improve the relationship. In a world where families are together twenty-four-seven, this will be a welcome break for everyone.

4. Understand that they are all missing their friends. A lot.

Be mindful of the fact that your teenagers have not seen their friends for over two months, or in teenager speak, "like, forever". Being with their friends is a very important part of identity development in the teenage years, and we should understand that their miss for their friends is a very real emotion for them at the moment, and not just "bratty" behaviour.

5. Help them with their time management and prioritization

Sometimes it’s not a matter of if they want to do it, but whether they actually can. Teenagers are not always able to group tasks by importance or urgency, and when it becomes too overwhelming, they freeze. They just stop doing. It will help to sit with them and check-in when they need to get things done and help them organize their time. Click here for a template to help them organize their weeks. Do this with them for bonus bonding time!

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