Families in the UK are locked, meaning that parents are spending more time than ever with their children.
While moms and dads with active toddlers and younger children fight to keep them entertained, those with teens and ‘grown up’ kids who have returned home find themselves navigating their own tricky conditions.
Teenagers and adult children, especially those in college or who have left home, are used to a much greater degree of freedom than they can currently enjoy.
Hannah Martin, a British psychotherapist and founder of the Talented Ladies Club, explained:Teenagers are used to more freedom – and for many, their friends are everything to them. They are also likely to be concerned with what is happening to the world around them, especially if they are deprived of their exams and the parties afterward.
Add this to a swirling mix of hormones and the desire to challenge authority and you have a tough mix for parents who are locked in with them.
FEMAIL spoke to Hannah and family counselor Peter Saddington, of the British charity Relate, who shared practical steps any parent can take to keep the peace while they are trapped.
Families in the UK are locked, meaning that parents are spending more time than ever with their children. An expert shared advice for survival with teenagers. Stock image
Help them understand the rules
Hannah said, “First of all, it’s important to remember that no one likes to hear what to do, but teens hate it. So instead of simply laying down the law, “or else,” try to help them understand why we need to take these measures.
Then encourage to watch the news with you and show them that we must all work together to protect the vulnerable and the elderly.
“If you have older relatives or friends, you can even take this home with personal examples. For example, “Wouldn’t you hate it if Grandma got sick and died? We must help protect her by staying indoors for a while. ‘ ‘
It is a good idea to set limits on the behavior of teenagers or adult children. For example, consider discussing how much time your child spends on their phone or alone in their room.
Build a structure
A structure can often reduce anxiety because it provides consistency at a time when there are constant changes. University students may have some guidance on what work they should be doing and can build a structure around it.
Adult children may have things to work on when emails come in or when they have work at home.
Mr. Saddington gave advice to children and said, “You want to build a structure so you have time to connect with your friends, you have time to exercise, you have time for healthy things, but you” You should also start with build in schedule about when you will keep track of work. ‘
Each time alone must balance with time together as a family. Make it clear that everyone gets together before meals or spends time together after dinner. Then there is an expectation that the family will spend time together.
Mr. Saddington added, “It is that negotiating what is individual, what is family, and what is the interpersonal part between you and the young person.”
Give them options
Hannah said, “Try to give them as many options as possible – even if it’s an illusion of choice – so they can get a sense of control over their situation.
For example, “Do you want to take a walk through the park this morning or in the afternoon?” And give them some treats to look forward to. If you can get their favorite food, do it. ‘
Try to be confrontational by using ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ when speaking. Stock image
Make sure that at least one parent checks in with the child every day. Taking the time each day to ask about their day and how they feel gives the child an opportunity to share any concerns or concerns.
Mr. Saddington said, “It is very easy when you look on the Internet to feel more anxious because other news is constantly coming out.
Use “I” instead of “you” when speaking
Mr Saddington said that the language you use to communicate with each other is very important because it sets the tone for the conversation.
For example, it may be helpful to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements.
Instead of saying ‘you are always on the phone, you never listen to us’, you can also say ‘I have been worried about how you are going to do it’.
It is also important to take the time to listen to what your child has to say. Mr. Saddington advised asking “what do you think you need from us?” and “what do you think you will do to help the family in this situation?” instead of “we need you to do this” and “you don’t do that.”
“It is very easy to talk to friends to get an increased tension. While some friends will say this, some friends will say that. ‘
Daily check-in is beneficial for both parties, as the adult knows what the young adult is concerned about and they know there is an expectation to share concerns every day.
Encourage contact with friends
It’s easier for teens than it is for kids during this blocking period because they’re used to interacting with their friends on social media remotely.
Parents should encourage their children to keep in touch with people who are important to them.
It would also help parents to have their own group of friends to call and support.
Mr. Saddington said, “It recognizes that everyone in the family needs their own support network. It may not be the same for everyone. ‘
Hannah added, “When they get angry or lashing out, use empathy to calm them down, rather than reacting with more anger. For example, “I know you’re angry and frustrated that you can’t see your friends now. And it’s unfair, I get it. It’s not the same I know, but why don’t you FaceTime them? “