The last year has been incredibly hard on teenagers. Endless lockdowns, having schools closed and then opened again, the uncertainty about exam results, and of course looking ahead to potential university places and gap years. The impact of the pandemic on their mental health has been well documented. At times it has felt hard to know what we can do to help.
Creating a routine is often one of the best ways to take control and feel more secure. However, anyone who has a teenaged child knows that you can’t just give them a routine and tell them to get on with it. You will need to work with them to find a routine that works, and you need to show them just how beneficial it can be.
A Routine Provides Necessary Structure
The pandemic blew any existing structure out of the water. We certainly couldn’t make any plans for the near future as we all waited for the government to tell us what we were supposed to be doing next. At a time when teenagers couldn’t see their friends or, at certain points, go outside for more than an hour a day, the lack of structure was really difficult. Now, teenagers are obviously wired to resist structure, but it gives them the tools they need to create their own in later life.
A Routine Helps With Study
As anyone who tried to home school their kids during the pandemic will know, creating a study routine from scratch isn’t easy. But even now that schools are open again, so much of their learning happens outside of school hours and they do need a routine to manage it.
Teenagers have so many distractions that can get between them and effective learning at home, but it’s important to work with them to show them how changes in their habits can be beneficial. Don’t just take away their games console and tell them they can have it back in an hour. Positive habits are built from understanding and patience, and learning to develop good study habits will yield real results.
A Routine Helps With Physical And Mental Health
As we mentioned, the impact of the pandemic on the mental of health of teenagers around the world has been well documented. It’s also been hard to feel motivated to get out there and get some exercise when you can’t do that with your friends. Now that restrictions are rolling back, a routine is still going to be crucial because let’s face it: there is still a lot of uncertainty about how things will be a month or two from now.
A simple exercise routine, for example, helps them to get out of the house at least once a day for something that isn’t school and gets those endorphins flowing. But a routine also helps to offset that sense of time drifting that the pandemic created. Because a routine isn’t just a list of things that you must do. It’s a support structure that allows you do those things.