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CoVid teens, feeling very worried about mine.

(227 Posts)
Biscuit0110 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:27:18

My usually vibrant, positive sociable 15 year old dd started the lockdown full of plans and chatting to her friends every single day, often for a few hours. She worked hard academically, worked out and quite enjoyed the new experience. We are now going into week eight on Friday and I am very worried to see a massive decline at every level.

I am most worried about the lack of conversation that is happening now between all of her friends, everyone seems to have stopped talking.
It seems she has just stopped communicating, and I wonder if anyone else has noticed this? What went from house parties, face timing and laughter seems to have died back to nothing. I asked her why she doesn't want to speak or message her friends anymore, she has some very close and lovely friends - but she said there is literally nothing to say anymore.
No one wants to talk, including her.

The odd photo that has popped up has shown friends shaving their hair, sitting in hoodies with faces hidden etc, often in darkness. This is not normally the case at all. It seems they are all becoming distressed in some levels, you can see it even in the photos. Some of her friends that do have MH issues are understandably struggling very badly. My dd has never ever had any MH worries, and is usually very upbeat.

I can't find any other threads that are covering this issue, so maybe it is just us and our groups of friends that are struggling, but if this is more widespread, then it is a very worrying development.

I didn't expect her to spend hours chatting and laughing as she normally would, I didn't expect her to have the same enthusiasm for her studies, but she seems to have lost all energy. I have never seen her like this. I feel helpless, and don't know how to support her. She just needs to see her friends and have some kind of normal again, and it is the only thing I can't do for her.

Can you tell me how your teens are faring? Are you children still communicating often with friends?

I can't even contemplate how this is going to play out for them if the lockdown is extended. I am actually very concerned now, even more than before about the damage this is doing to our children.

OP’s posts: |
Br1ll1ant Wed 29-Apr-20 07:32:09

It’s very similar here and so worrying. It doesn’t help that I’m losing positivity and it’s getting harder to motivate myself as well as them. But we keep going - it’s all we can do.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 29-Apr-20 07:35:22

You are not alone. My y10 is in a shocking state. She was fragile before and this has plummeted her.

lockdownbirthdayhelp Wed 29-Apr-20 07:35:44

I don't have a teen but I understand what your daughter means about there being nothing to say anymore. I'm struggling to come up with conversation with my friends.

I have a 3.8yo and his behaviour has changed too. It's all quite worrying. I really think this isolation of children could cause long lasting affects if it goes on too long.

I don't have any suggestions or answers, just wanted to say - you're not alone in being worried about your child.

Biscuit0110 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:36:55

Not that I would wish this on anyone Br1 but I am relieved my dd is not the only one becoming quite reclusive.
We are talking alot as a family, and trying to keep things 'fun' and entertaining as much as we can, but quite frankly I no longer have the energy to do this as often as I would like to. I am permanently chronically tired, despite only doing a fraction of my 'normal' day. Perhaps it is the same for them?

OP’s posts: |
Biscuit0110 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:38:56

Teen I am sorry about your little one, ten is a tender age when they are emerging from childhood. I am really hoping once back in school they will all be fine...but who actually knows? We have to hope that they come through this unscathed.

OP’s posts: |
Ginfordinner Wed 29-Apr-20 07:39:58

There is another similar thread about adults not communicating much any more. Everyone's lives are becoming so insular and boring that they don't have much to talk about.

lockdownbirthdayhelp Wed 29-Apr-20 07:40:35

I'm permanently tired too, I am pregnant and working from home too so maybe it's that or maybe it's lockdown fatigue.
I feel so sorry for my son as I feel like I don't have the energy to properly play with him before I have to start work in the afternoon.
Thank god for my husband even though he's working full time at home he's picking up a lock of slack she seems to be coping better than me even though ironically I'm the home bird and the less sociable of us.

Breckenridged Wed 29-Apr-20 07:42:24

I agree with lockdown, I can’t think of much to say to my friends now either. And I am also a usually bubbly and sociable person.

My 6 year old is struggling. Every day she cries about missing school and friends. And naturally it will be much harder on teens as a) those years are tough anyway and b) adolescence is when you normally start to really turn towards your friends and away from your family (I mean that as a positive thing and haven’t phrased it well!)

I remember when I was a child/teen, I was always looking forward to the next big event - my birthday, friends’ birthdays, sleepovers, holidays... now it’s just same same same. It’s hard for us adults to conceptualise the end of this so even worse for kids and teens.

flowers for your DD and all of them really.

marly11 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:42:55

DS2 age 12 and very pre teen is the same. He plays games remotely with friends which seems to involve no meaningful conversation albeit is contact but has not spoken to friends in terms of having a chat properly since lockdown. He says there is nothing to say. I am concerned but can't think of how to help him. I offer to do things but he rarely wants to. He did make scones yesterday but that was it. Being critical and awful to his brother which seems to be his only outlet - unhealthy stuff. You are not alone but I don't at this point have any suggestions of how to help...

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 29-Apr-20 07:43:17

Biscuit Year 10, (age 15). She was on target to pass her GCSEs. This has the real potential to turn 4/5s into 3s.

On the other hand we now have counselling in place twice per week and it is getting some things addressed, so it may turn out to be a part blessing in the long run.

DonLewis Wed 29-Apr-20 07:43:45

I've gone like that. Strayed out quite happy to chat to the people I loved. Now I can't bear it. I think it's normal ish? I hope it is!

Neolara Wed 29-Apr-20 07:44:07

My dd has some kind of netfix app that allows her to watch films simultaneously with her friends. This means they can chat about what they are watching. Maybe worth a try if she says no-one has anything to say?

dancemom Wed 29-Apr-20 07:45:04

Not to this extent, dd is still enthusiastic about her school work and music and exercising but the communication with friends has fallen drastically.

She says the same, no one has anything to say, no one is doing anything or going anywhere or seeing anyone so there's nothing to have long FT chats about.

I think this lockdown is bad for everyone's mental health but teens particularly as friendships are so important at that age.

Dd is an only child so literally has only me to speak to on a day to day basis and that's not healthy for anyone.

I hope schools go back ASAP.

Biscuit0110 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:46:52

Sorry teen! It is a blessing to have counselling set up, as she at least needs to speak about her feelings twice a week, I am worried my children are storing it up/burying the negative sides of this. I have spoken to them every day about it, and asked them how they are feeling. Being teenagers they are not in a massive rush to discuss it with me...I think they are sick of me quietly, although are too kind to show it very often.

OP’s posts: |
waterrat Wed 29-Apr-20 07:47:15

I've noticed that even my 8 year old has stopped asking to speak to friends so much - I think it is just a disappointment that it's still online only - at first he had a ladder and kept going up it to chat to his friends two gardens along - I found it quite folorn when he stopped doing it - it was not fun and he just missed real interaction too much.

The reality is this is a very shit experience and I think better to own that - we will be able to meet with people soon - I imagine in a few weeks there will be increased freedom to meet with people outdoors etc .

I think here in a prosperous country we are not used to this kind of unplanned and unexpected trauma - I work in the field of human rights and this is more familiar to the kind of experiences for people fleeing refugee situations etc.

Talk to her, explain that it may be a little while longer but we will come through it and she will see her friends again. Make sure she gets out and exercises etc. It's just very hard.

Ronia Wed 29-Apr-20 07:47:20

My kids are younger but a friend with teens has recommended speaking to youngminds.org.uk/ for support and advice - either for you or them. I gather they're very good and site has specific advice for the current situation.

It must be very hard to see her like this and very worrying at this age. flowers. I hope she gets her bounce back soon. Sounds a bit trite but is she getting exercise? It genuinely does help. Find something she'd love (yoga, dance, HIIT) and support her to do it regularly?

iVampire Wed 29-Apr-20 07:48:06

My teens are carrying on much as they have done throughout lockdown.

Term restarted this week which gave a structure back to weekdays after the Easter break, and so she’s interacting online with a wider group of people. Chats with friends continue - as well as homework support, they seem to have an inexhaustible stream of trivia to chatter about (latest thing they are streaming, lockdown hair experiments, sibling weirdos)

She doesn’t exercise much though, as I am shielding and so she’s in the house. I’ve tried and failed to get to join in online workouts

borgl Wed 29-Apr-20 07:48:10

I work with teenagers and have one myself. I'm keeping in touch with the ones that I work with via phone/text. They all feel the same - just head down and get on with it. As adults we think we know what's important - exercise, human contact etc etc but actually maybe the teenage mode of hibernation/YouTube is actually more effective? It stops you having to process something which is scary but will pass.

Sometimes I think kids are much wiser than we are!!

Vinosaurus Wed 29-Apr-20 07:50:09

Although not a teen yet, my 11 year old is behaving in a very similar way. Gone is the vast majority of her online/phone socialising (there were regular group/individual chats), online sleepovers etc. at the beginning) and I'm having to actively encourage her (but often failing) to speak to someone every day.

We're lucky with the homeschooling that her school has set up insofar as the classes interact with each other and the teachers during each lesson (with a form video chat each Friday), so that's something.

I am pretty confident that when they're released back into the world they'll quickly return to normal service - but if the lockdown continues much longer I worry for their mental health.

Pollymalex104 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:52:25

So relieved to hear that. I feel like some awful kind of boxing coach, constantly berating my Y10 to get up for one more round, but you can see all his energy draining away. He has no motivation for school work either. Last night I ended up having a bit of a rant at him which has left me feeling so bad. If you search Google for articles about teens in lockdown, there are some very helpful sites - which I found after the event, unfortunately, but they do offer a lot of explanation for how teenagers will react to this situation.

Biscuit0110 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:52:51

It is not like she is feeling actually depressed, more that she just can't be bothered any longer, she is still exercising alot although not as much as before. We go out as much for fresh air often, I have set up a net in the garden for her and she seems okay. The death of conversation has worried me the most.

My youngest dd (12) is still chatting to her friends daily, or playing games with them online, and she seems the least affected. Fifteen is not a great age for a lockdown it has to be said.

OP’s posts: |
TheHumansAreDefinitelyDead Wed 29-Apr-20 07:53:55

My 15 yr old is struggling

He is normally very sociable and outgoing, has lots of friends, loves having a laugh with boys and girls in his tutor group, loves his sport, interested in so many things

He says he feels bad, he cried during a lesson yesterday as the teacher allowed 5 minutes of video chat between the whole group and it started with him having a laugh with his best friend, to him realising how much he misses school, to him crying (and turning mic off) sad

It is really really hard for y10s I reckon, teens are all about their peers, about friends, and it is very hard for them

It’s hard to watch the change in him

Lemonblast Wed 29-Apr-20 07:54:17

I’ve limited screen time for mine with screentime phone settings. Scrolling aimlessly through their phones wasn’t helping.
Also maintaining normalish bedtimes. My colleague can’t get her 14 year old off his phone at night and he’s really struggling.
They have a daily jobs list as well and although there’s a bit of ‘it’s your turn now’ they manage it well.
DH and I are both working shifts so when we’re off, we make sure that the focus is on them. I’ve bee guilty of letting them use their screens too much in the past but I find their mood is so much better if I spend a lot more time engaging with them.
We meal plan and also plan a takeaway once a week which actually gives them something to look forward to!
Oh and the TV/COVID coverage is kept to a minimum.
They’ve also just signed up to an online photography course that is being run by an ex pupil at their school.
I find parenting teenagers the hardest type of parenting at the best of times and have really had to work hard to help them maintain their mental health.

Tellmetruth4 Wed 29-Apr-20 07:54:45

My primary aged DC is on the Zoom playing Robolox for about 3 hours a day with various friends outside of her school work. I’ve abandoned time limits on playing computer games with friends online as I’m concerned about their MH.

I actually overheard a couple of teenagers on the street saying they’d given up talking to friends as they have nothing to say anymore so your DD isn’t the only one.

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