Thrive With Your Family: Teens and the Pandemic

May 05, 2020 12:39 PM

How to help teens emotionally adjust to social distancing and how to balance increased media use along with online learning and socializing. 

A nationally recognized panel of Michigan Medicine specialists tackle stressors, concerns and difficulties families face in the ever-changing environment of the current global pandemic. With candid conversations on parenting, the group addresses child behavior, mental health and relationships. Find all the episodes here.

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In the third episode of Thrive With Your Family, host Jenny Radesky, M.D., along with two guest adolescent specialists, Elizabeth Koschmann, Ph.D., and Ellen Selkie, M.D., discuss how to help teenagers process the COVID-19 crisis, filled with social distancing, missed milestones, like graduations and dances, and adapting to online schooling. Questions covered by the experts include:

- How do we keep teens motivated to continue schoolwork and socialize from home? This answer addresses engagement, depression in teens and how to guide adolescents to stay in touch with emotions in a healthy way during this time. (4:50)

- If families already struggle with communicating with teens, are there ways for parents to encourage conversations? (9:10)

- As a parent who is at the cusp of peers becoming more important to my child than me, can you articulate what peers have that I don’t have in a practical or developmental sense? (19:15)

- One of the major tasks of adolescence is identity formation and individualism. Why are peers valuable for this, and how is that formation changing when identity formation is occurring in person versus online? (22:12)

- Should you be restricting the amount of time teens are online playing multiplayer games when you know they are also socializing? (25:54)

- If you had previously established restrictive boundaries for technology and being online at home and now need to transition to online learning and other interactions happening online, how do you navigate that shift? (37:10)

Editor’s note: Information on the COVID-19 crisis is constantly changing. For the latest numbers and updates, keep checking the CDC’s website. For the most up-to-date information from Michigan Medicine, visit the hospital's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage

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