Does your teen spend way too much time on his/her phone? Yup, mine too. Especially now that summer has arrived, no school, no routine and in our region it has been extremely hot and smoky so not a lot to do outside either.
But even if there were, it is difficult to get teens motivated to go and do something, and this has been exacerbated by a year and a half of Covid restrictions and telling them to stay home, have next to no social contacts, no sport, no fun, no getting together, nothing.
Now we expect them to just bounce back and get off their devices and go do something. Well, it doesn’t work like that.
So what can you do?
Well, first of all recognize that there has been a major problem and challenge introduced into our kid’s lives and they are struggling to come to terms with all of this. they need support, not nagging. I know it’s hard to not nag and try to ‘make’ them do something different. After you have recognized the problem, talk to them about it, ask them if and how they feel the impacts of the pandemic. ask them, if they would like to work together to come out of it and what would be the best way for THEM do do this. ask them what they are interested in these days and if there is something they would really like to do away from devices.
LISTEN to what they are saying and run with it. Let them come up with the ideas, get them to set some goals that THEY want to achieve and then help them achieve them. That way, they will be motivated because it is something they want to do.
For my son, it was climbing a small mountain in our backyard. It involved some minor rock climbing and a great view at the top. He had a lot of fun and also realized that he had overcome his fear of heights. Mom also had a lot of fun, it was a win-win all around.
From this, you can move forward and plan other things, even if it is once in a while, try not to make it another ‘chore’, take it when they offer it and HAVE FUN!