As a parent of a high school junior, I’m aware that the challenges of social distancing fall especially hard on teenagers .

Thinking back on my teen years, it was the time of life when the influence of my peer group became more important than the influence of my parents. I wasn’t unique in that regard. I think most of us remember wanting more independence and seeking out friendships with people who were in our classes and shared our interests. 

I can see how disorienting it is for Julian, our oldest, to be distance learning at home with mom, dad, and his two younger sisters around. At the same time, I also see a level of maturity in him that I might have otherwise missed if not for this extraordinary situation. He has stepped up in ways that have impressed his dad and me, and we have shared truly enjoyable moments with him after his sisters have gone to bed, interacting with him as the “almost an adult” that he is. 

Teenage angst still shows up at my house on more days than I’d like. For those days, here is an excellent article with things teens can do during this time of social distancing and resources for additional support

While we can’t replace the role peers play in our teens’ lives, hopefully, this rare treasure of forced time together has opened up opportunities. Opportunities to see our kids, and for them to see us, in new ways that may profoundly influence the quality of our family life long after this crisis has passed. That is my hope.

All my Best,
Allyson Damikolas