Teens are already going through important years of their lives and during this time, they cherish their friendships more than anything. COVID-19 is impacting our teens’ mental health and social connectedness. During this time of physical distancing, teens may start to feel sad and isolated as their connection with friends is limited. First, it is important that we as parents and caregivers know the signs of teens’ mental health problems and secondly, to help our teens maintain their friendships during this time of uncertainty.
Be aware of the warning signs and watch for any problems with your teen’s mental health. These warning signs may include:
- Frequent irritability
- Changes in weight or sleep habits
- Increased conflicts with friends and family
So how can we help our teens stay socially connected with their friends? Allow them to stay connected via phone, text, video chat, or social media (check their privacy settings and make sure they are not posting too much personal information). Of course, there are limits to using social media safely and the amount of screen time allowed. Create a Family Media Plan with your teen to ensure that he or she is using social media safely while staying connected with their friends.