Most of us can remember the spring of our senior year in high school: the prom, the parties and the culminating event of graduation. The spring of one’s senior year is so unique that it has a popularly-known malady: senioritis. Most seniors contract a hearty case of it but recover during their introduction to post-high school life.
Today all teenagers face a real virus: Covid-19. If you love a teenager, you may notice certain behavioral “symptoms.” Perhaps you’ve suggested the antidote that they stop being self-centered and look at the needs of others around the world. In a broad sense, you are correct in your prescription. But, the purpose of this article is to think more deeply about our teenagers’ realities during this time of disruption.
What can adults do to help?
Encourage them to talk about their feelings when they are ready to do so. Don’t tell them how it was in your day. Listen to how it is for them.
No, it isn’t God’s will that people get sick and die. It is a result of living in a fallen world. He knows all that is going on, and God’s heart breaks along with our hearts.
Our amount of frustration can be defined by the gap between our expectations and our reality. Help them determine ways to narrow this gap and reduce frustration. How can we lower expectations during this time? Can we raise the level of their reality through different activities or connections that make each day a bit easier?
Things may worsen before they get better.
Make it your goal that they look back and remember this as a time in which you walked alongside them, rather than tried to correct every flaw in their outlook. Who knows? We may be standing on “holy ground” during these days. Let’s not merely grit our teeth and endure them, but “make the most of every opportunity.” (Eph 5:16)