4 A's to sail through Parenting in Covid
Fun, family and fight are some of the common elements we find in our Covid 19 stay at home period with our teenagers.
As a person working on education reform and youth empowerment, I always nurtured a vision for being friendly with my children.
My son turned 16 years during the Covid stay at home period and my daughter is 14. Once the children become teenagers, parents get less time to know their children as that is the period children get busy with their studies, social life and extra-curricular activities.
The kids are busy trying to enter their adulthood. However, as their brain is busy developing, the reality that we see as adults and they see as adolescents in many cases are vastly different. During this Covid situation, we have come across many responses that are caused by this very difference. Here is some of those situations and the thought process and response of each party in it.
Me: Why are you always on your computer?
Me: Why are you not on your computer?
Me: Let me order the snacks and grocery for the next two weeks.
So I don’t need to go out to get it every other day
Teenager: We don’t have any snacks
[Two weeks’ snacks finished in two days]
Me: Let me bake this bread, they used to love it when they were young
Teenager: This doesn’t taste good? Can’t we buy from outside?
[Do they have to be so brutally honest?]
Me: Are my plates and bowls getting stolen?
Teenager: No idea. [Brings out loads of tableware from their room]
Me: When did my teenager’s room become a showroom of tableware?
Me: This is the perfect time to have a one-on-one conversation with the kids
Teenager: I have a lot of work.
Me: No, you can’t go out
Teenager: I’m so bored. My friends are not infected. Can I go out?
Me: Let’s have a family movie time
Teenager: Yes, let us watch my favorite movie franchise together, one every day
Me: Don’t touch anywhere
Teenager: Ok. [Holds the handrail in the lift]
Me: Be careful when you are outside
Teenager: You are freaking out, you know that teenagers rarely get infected. I am doing everything to ensure that you guys don’t get infected
[How caring they are!]
Me: There is so much work here
Teenager: Don’t panic. Let me help you.
Me: You sound like my good old child now.Why are you like this all of a sudden?
Teenager: You still are my favorite mom, I love you.
[Aw! I so love them]
With so much teenage energy at home, we are figuring out each other all over again. With them figuring out their independence, their voice and their abilities and we figuring out the 4A’s. Those 4A’s are:-
· Learning to AVOID emotional outbursts where possible.
· Trying to ALTER situations in your capacity for a better outcome.
· ACCEPT their new identity and change in behavior
· ADAPT to the situation the best we can
Covid 19 stay at home period is a giant playground to learn valuable relationship skills. And I am grateful that we are safe and are understanding each other better now.
Founder and C.E.O. - As Many Minds
Founder and Chairperson - International Youth Leadership and Innovation Forum (IYLIF)