It is said daily. By almost every adolescent I talk to. “Eh…I’m OK.” “Tired of COVID.” “Wish I could go to school.” As we hit the 9-month anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we’re starting to see the results of the large-scale response through lockdowns and closures. In a world that feels flipped upside down it almost makes sense that the people that used to tell me how much they hate school and do not want to go, now want nothing more than the get back there.
I’m not here to debate the appropriateness or effectiveness of the lockdowns. I will say that I am glad I am not in the position to have to make decisions that will have a profound impact on millions of people. Especially when those decisions appear to have no “right” answer. But the decisions have been made and I think it’s important to address how those decisions have affected our adolescent populations.
It is no secret that adolescents crave peer interaction. There is plenty of peer reviewed research documenting that fact. Further, most teenagers utilize their peer connections for emotional support. By adolescence, the most important relationships they identify are with their peers and no longer their parents. Recent research is showing that adolescents are experiencing higher rates of depression and anxiety in the absence of those connections.
Instead of reciting what I have read and trying to make them my own words, I have included links to articles from Newport Academy as well as an article from the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Check in with your teens, this is a hard time for all of us. And if you or your teen is in need of assistance, then please contact us at (248)834-3577.