Teen wellbeing: finding the balance during lockdown

Posted April 9, 2020

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With schools closed and so many limits on their usual lives at the moment, looking after your teen’s wellbeing is an extra challenge at the moment. Here are some top tips on keeping your teen happy and busy during this challenging time.

  1. Structure their days (but not too much)
  2. Prioritise sleep and exercise
  3. Try something new
  4. Keep core learning going
  5. Help them find a passion
  6. Teach them what you know
  7. Leave time for “socialising”

1. Structure their days (but not too much)

Keeping a routine in place can be really reassuring for teens (and adults!), especially during an uncertain time. The key though is to strike a balance between giving them a daily structure, and keeping them calm too. You could try leaving the morning for school work, and then using the afternoon for more exploratory or creative activities.

2. Prioritise sleep and exercise

They’re always important, but with more challenging circumstances than usual at the moment, protecting your teen’s regular sleep and exercise will help them manage any worries. Keeping the same bedtime and wake-up time each day will provide a solid foundation to a healthy routine. If you’ve got a garden or a nearby park, then a daily exercise trip can help split up the day too. If you’re pushed for outdoor space, there are lots of free online exercise classes, like Joe Wicks. Online yoga and meditation classes are more great ways to relax and stay calm.

3. Try something new

With the incentive of exams in the Summer term gone, some brand new learning could help get them excited. Trying a new language, an area of History they haven’t been taught in school before, or areas of current events they’ve always wondered about can keep them motivated. Our tutors are offering a range of off-curriculum lessons – if you tell our tutor experts what you’re looking for then they can help you find the perfect tutor.

4. Continue core learning

It might be too much of a challenge to keep all of your child’s usual subjects going at home, and that’s ok. Here’s what experienced homeschooling mum (and teacher) Eli advises when it comes to home learning at the moment:

“Focus on the core subjects – English, Maths and Science. If the only lessons your child does over the lockdown is these, you’re still winning. Online tuition can be a real life-saver for making sure your child gets curriculum-focused lessons. Home educating is a constant juggling act, and at a crazy time like this, you should cut yourself  – and your kids – some slack!”

Eli M, Guildford

5. Help them find a passion

The flexibility of home learning is a chance for your child to find what they enjoy most – or to focus in on what they already love. This could be an extended project in their favourite school subject, an ambitious creative challenge, or practical learning like (safe and supervised!) D.I.Y. Without the rapid pace of school life, they could take the chance to think about their future and research some options for what they’d like to do beyond school.

6. Teach them what you know

If you’ve got time, taking the chance to teach your child the skills you have can be a nice way to expand their learning and give yourselves some quality one-on-one time. This could mean practical life skills like budgeting or cooking, sharing your hobby with them, or even giving them a closer look at what you do in your job. Similarly, setting up video chats for your child with family members who could do the same can be a really nice way to keep everyone connected and engaged.

7. Leave time for “socialising”

While keeping busy and healthy is really important, so is staying in touch with their mates! Your teen will probably have been in touch with their friends already, but leaving a good amount of time in their weekly schedule for your child to video chat or message their friends will help them keep some sense of normality during this challenging time.

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