This post: When life is upside down, encourage your teen to control what they can.
In the last couple of weeks, it has become blatantly clear how much in our lives is actually out of our control. Our lives have been turned upside down, our schedules are total mayhem, future plans have been put on hold and life as we know it is has spun into chaos.
And, a lot of teens are finding it difficult to cope.
Most teens are dealing with an overwhelming sense of loss. They’ve lost their freedom, their independence, their day-to-day interaction with friends, the sports, activities, and clubs they love, and the hope of participating in major milestone events like graduation, prom, and end-of-year events. Grappling with an unceremonious end to their school year, they’re also dealing with the fact that their summer may not be all that much brighter.
At a time in their lives when they’re feeling the urge to spread their wings, they’re stuck at home experiencing serious cabin fever. The harsh reality is that many teens simply aren’t equipped to handle this type of extreme stress and sense of loss.
So, how are our kids supposed to muddle through these times when they feel as though their world is crashing down around them?
For starters, they can put things into perspective with the understanding that efforts to shelter-in-place are for the greater good and their cooperation is vital to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In addition, they can do their best to stay positive and protect their mental health by focusing on controlling what they can, no matter how small.
When life feels out of control, encourage your teen to control what they can. Here are 35 things your teen can control:
#1 What time they wake up in the morning.
#2 Their attitude when they start the day.
#3 Their thoughts.
#4 How grateful they are for all the good in their life.
#5 Their expectations – about themselves, their friends and life.
#6 How they talk to themselves i.e. their “inner voice.”
#7 Their perspective and outlook.
#8 How they spend their time.
#9 What time they go to bed and how much sleep they get each night.
#10 What goals they create for themselves.
#11 How they choose to express their feelings.
#12 How much (or how little) they delve into news coverage.
#13 What (and how much) they choose to eat throughout the day.
#14 How often they smile throughout the day.
#15 The amount of effort they put into their online classes.
#16 Which television shows or movies they watch and how often.
#17 Whether they choose to reach out to someone who needs help or not.
#18 How often they talk with friends or loved ones.
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#19 Whether they act responsibly by completing chores or finishing tasks.
#20 How they deal with their anger or frustration.
#21 How organized and clean they keep their bedrooms.
#22 Whether they exercise or get outdoors and how often.
#23 Whether they choose to find creative ways to stay occupied and positive.
#24 Whether they respect the personal space of others.
#25 Which friends they reach out to every day.
#26 Whether they rely on their faith to help them through this challenging time (if they’re religious).
#27 Whether they look for the positives in the negatives.
#28 Whether they choose to find humor in life, no matter how challenging it may seem.
#29 Which books, magazines or websites they choose to read.
#30 Whether they decide to make the most of every single day.
#31 How much time they spend worrying, being angry or agonizing over “should have beens.”
#32 Their sphere of influence on others.
#33 Whether they choose to establish a routine in their day.
#34 How much time they spend playing video games or scrolling through social media.
#35 Whether they find the “lessons to be learned” in these hard times.
Ten percent of life is what happens to us, ninety percent is how we react to it.”