It will perhaps come as no surprise that since the start of this pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in the number of calls young people have made to ChildLine. In fact ChildLine has provided more than 900 counselling sessions to children and young people worried about it. More than 63% of coronavirus counselling sessions were with girls and almost 37% were children aged 12-15.
Like some of us adults, many young people are really struggling to deal with Covid-19 and the impact that it has had on their day to day lives. Many of these calls highlight just how anxious and isolated they feel. Some young people are of course already dealing with other issues and the pandemic has just compounded their issues further. They are also picking up on the anxiety shown by their parents/the key adults in their lives and what they are seeing on social media and in the news.
Teenagers naturally want independence and so being told not just by parents, but indeed by the State, that they must stay in and can't go out, does not always go down well. As for parents, they may feel ill-equipped to deal with any conflicts and as a result feel they are struggling right now.
Of course when teenagers 'act out', it's most likely that they're just trying to be heard but can't find another way to communicate or make us really hear what they're saying. And when parents react negatively to their child pushing boundaries, it is perhaps because they feel rejected and left out.
So, what's the answer?
Unsurprisingly, honest, two-way communication is key. It is really important that we keep communicating with children and encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Where teenagers are concerned, talk to them about why certain decisions have been made - this will help them clarify their own thinking about what they have heard and enable any differences to be ironed out.
However, if further support is still needed, please seek help from a professional counsellor and remember that Dynamic Counselling are here to offer support whether online or by telephone firstname.lastname@example.org