The Coronavirus lockdown has been a struggle for everyone. Suddenly, teenagers and children are stuck at home for weeks. Parents are suddenly working from home or are unemployed. Everyone is in everyone else’s hair. It’s tough... but there are some things that you can do to make it a little easier.
Teenagers who are locked up can be difficult to deal with. They tend to get bored more easily than younger children. Teens are used to the bustle of high school, afterschool activities, and hanging out with friends. None of that is available right now with the Coronavirus pandemic closing the whole country.
This blog introduces some things that your teenager can do to keep themselves busy during this lockdown period.
Your teenager who can drive can become the family’s designated shopper. Give them a list of what you need and send them off to the store. If they can’t drive, but there’s a store close enough to ride a bicycle to, it’s a great chance to get some fresh air and get something done. Let them get themselves something while they’re there. Put a dollar limit on their item but be generous. They’ll love the independence and trust that you place in them.
Most older folks shouldn’t be out in the world. The older you get or if you have pre-existing conditions, the more likely you are to get very ill from COVID-19. Teenagers can shop for neighbors or older family members. With an exchange of phone calls or text messages, they can get a shopping list. They can deliver the groceries to the front door and leave them. This will help them feel useful and keep them busy. The senior can put cash in an envelope or use PayPal to pay for everything.
Many businesses have closed, but the lawns are still growing. Offer to mow neighbors’ lawns for free is an excellent way to help the neighborhood look great. This can be the beginning of an awesome business for later, after the lockdown.
Notes and letters
Everyone is a little “stir-crazy” in lockdown. A nice note from a neighbor teen or a letter in the mail can brighten someone’s day. It doesn’t even need to be silly, but it can be a quick note of encouragement. Younger children can draw pictures and the older children can write notes.
Learn to code
Learning coding, which is computer programming, is a great skill for later in life. There are many places that teens can learn to code. This article from Entrepreneur
and this site, Hour of Code
can show you how to write your own computer programs. This is the perfect skill for any teen that loves computer games or playing on the internet.
Everyone wants to be an internet star. As long as you keep control and watch or read their vlogs/blogs yourself, you can set your teen up to do everything from how-to tutorials to book reviews. For those of us who are older, putting your life on the internet can seem like a terrible idea, but for younger people, it's just natural. Help them create a great online video series.
If you have a budding filmmaker, now is a great time to let them try something new. Using an iPhone or android phone, they can create their own films, edit them on a computer and put them out into the world on YouTube. They might not win an Oscar, but they’ll have fun and learn new skills.
Depending on your teen’s favorite sport, they might be able to work on their skills from home. Shooting free throws at a home basketball hoop or practicing soccer shots are a great way to work out some of that teen energy. When they get back to school, they’ll be even better than before.
There are thousands of online high schools. This might seem like a terrible idea to your teenager, but you can entice them with the idea that they might graduate even sooner if they attend school at home. Home schooling for younger children is usually a lot more hands-on for the parents, but for teens, it’s all online.
Working from home
While it seems like an odd time, starting an online business with your teen is a great way to move them toward being self-sufficient. Many online websites, like Fivver.com, allow people to work from the age of fifteen. If your teen can write, create websites, draw, or even sing, they can find work creating items for businesses and individuals around the world. It can be a slow start, but by college, they could be able to work their own hours while covering tuition and housing.
Baking is a pastime that has become a lot less common in the last twenty years, but now is a great time to learn the satisfaction of baking your own bread, biscuits, cookies, or cakes. There are thousands of tutorials online and plenty of TV shows to watch while you bake together.
If you have a fashionista in the house, this is the time to buy a sewing machine, fabric, and thread and set them loose on making clothes. Teenagers often don’t have a lot of time for pursuing their fantasy jobs, but with the right tools, they can learn create their own fashions. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Ask around the neighborhood; someone probably has an old sewing machine in a closet and some old clothes or fabric to work with. You can also order what they need online.
Back to Our Roots
Not that long ago, most children were isolated. Even if they lived in a town, the towns were small and there wasn't any internet. Teens entertained themselves by doing things, making things, and helping around the house.
The Coronavirus Lockdown Opportunity
A lockdown is an opportunity to get back to that very recent past where we were able to enjoy our time at home with pastimes, hobbies, and skills that kept us busy and happy. Who knows? They might learn a skill, start a new career, or get out of high school earlier.