Keeping teens occupied during social distancing

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – With schools and extracurricular activities being canceled, many teens are facing the challenge of having little to do.

“I think with teens specifically, this whole staying at home and social isolation is really affecting them in ways that for a lot of people they haven’t really thought about,” Amy Bloch the Executive Director for Catholic Charities said.

She said part of teen development is social relationships. With the loss of experiencing certain milestones and having to self isolate, some forms of mild depression and anxiety can occur. Bloch said it’s easy for parents to be dismissive when they may be dealing with bigger issues but it’s important to realize teens may also be struggling.

She said giving them more responsibility shows trust and in turn makes them more productive.

“Instead of saying you need to go do your school work, saying things like what’s your plan for today? What’s your plan for getting your school work done? Kids need boundaries but giving them room to make their own decision to feel like they have some say, some control over what’s happening around them,” Bloch added.

Local mother Carol Voloshen said she’ss trying not to be overbearing while finding ways for her family to bond.

“I just know at their age spending time with mom and dad isn’t something ideal but at the same time were cooking together more as a family, were having more meals together as a family,” Voloshen said.

She encourages her children to participate as much as possible even if she feels they don’t always want to.

“Expect that your teen may say this is not fun, I don’t really want to do this but have them do it anyway because typically what ends up happening is that they have fun,” Bloch said.

Voloshen’s daughter Ella is a senior at East High School. She said her emotions have been running high due to social distancing but she’s trying to focus on herself.

“I’ve actually been doing a lot of cooking and baking… it’s something that keeps my mind occupied without having to stress about it… It’s a getaway for me almost,” Voloshen said.

Bloch said making sure teens have structure while also maintaining space is especially important during this time.

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