Welcome to the InspireAmind®️ Presents Summer of 2021 The Real Friend Reboot!
It’s over a year since our kids and teens have been 100 percent carefree! Here we are approaching quite the odd summer of 2021. As vaccines approved this emergency use become available to younger age groups many things will happen.
There are some that will not be able to get the vaccine for various issues, and others that will still contract Covid after vaccination, and still even additional, that may choose not to participate. As I am not a physician, I can only do I what I feel best doing. I encourage others to make an informed decision and do what is best for their health, and their family. I also know that that ideally we should respect the rights and health and safety of others, while doing so.
Socialization: I can say one thing for sure, there is value in children, and teens socializing this summer, even if it’s in a cautious manner.
I have been thinking about the issue of isolation and socialization since March of 2020, when I first focused my energy on isolated seniors. This population, similar to children can be very vulnerable in that they rely on others for socialization, care and for many to keep a positive mindset, and not regress in cognitive functioning. After successfully creating a program serving seniors in a facility and in turn, assisting isolated graduate social work students during Covid.. my mind has shifted back to pre-teens, and teens.
I have been speaking with my children about it, and some of their friends and other parents for months. Since last summer, we had created ways of getting together with friends that felt safe. However, everyone shared similar experiences when all schools were remote. All friends ended the 2020 school year remotely, as most businesses n NYS remained closed, and it wasn’t until closer to fall into spring that everything opened. Larger amounts of parents, kids, families were going through things together at the time.
After a recent discussion came up to share those same thoughts – I realized that not only are we in the most “Covid awkward” time regarding ever changing mandates for safety and access to the vaccine, but at the same time normalcy is almost 90 percent expected.. yet we are still using an FDA emergency approved vaccine for a pandemic. I mean we are still in a NEW normal . That’s okay, we need to cope and move forward but, there is still a lot we don’t know Re: boosters, strains, safety and preparedness for all to function and remain open through yet another issue.
I pushed those thoughts out of my head.. I thought more about what actives we as a family came up with for kids, and teens to do safely. Then I thought about my girls, and even the seniors I started to support- you can’t always start with the activity! I thought so much comes before.. kind of the horse.. and bringing it to water but, not getting it to drink.
Prepping for Summer, Next School Year, Travel or Any New Change to Schedule!
Everything is NEW AGAIN
The Real Friend Reboot- it’s like Starting Again!
This idea of friendships, and reuniting with people that you haven’t seen regularly or even seen on Zoom, let alone passed by in the halls can be a tougher concept then you’d expect.
Did it impact kids/teens? Most definitely.
In many ways, as I’ve spoken with parents, students, young adults through seniors… it impacted EVERYONE! It impacted friendships, emotional ( self-esteem ) due to loss of regular sports, walking, shopping and daily movement! For many people, that led to health issues, emotional concerns and weight gain. This had a chain reaction…less time out of home and less time with peers. This pandemic was time when we needed the very MOST support from others, yet couldn’t be around anyone.
Yes, kids have, and will continue to bounce back and rekindle old, and make new friends. Adults may have been forced into different choices in their lives that they would not have chosen otherwise : a particular college, no college, loss of employment, early retirement, loss of a business, and even loss of loved ones due to serious medical issues, or death during this challenging time. What people don’t know (especially kids) is that there is a way out, a way to make changes, and it doesn’t have to feel hopeless…..
CHANGE is not a comfortable space for most. When YOU are in charge of it.. (rearranging the furniture, new clothes – sure). None of us have been in charge the changes we have been rolling through during the Pandemic. We are only in charge of our mindset, and responses to everything around us.
The most basic human emotion after learning of a tremendous CHANGE – a reduction in their ability to move freely in society, school etc., isolation is discomfort. This also can come out later, or BEFORE returning to their environment. The mind, and body are funny that way. If we do not address certain topics they will come out in some way, at some point.
TIPS for Addressing CHANGE and CHALLENGE with Your Children in Friendships
The Beginning – it all depends on the personality of your tween, teen or young adult child.
Challenge #1 Friend? What do I say? Does that mean it’s okay for more friends if they ask? What can we do?
Result #1 This feels overwhelming… just forget it.
Challenge #2 Thinking of the challenges ahead, becoming nervous or used to not getting together outside school or being remote… staying NONVERBAL about the reasons.
Result #2 Worry that the child or teen is depressed or continue to self isolate due to mental health issues.
Instead of the worry that your child has mental health issues, it may be that your child became used to the current norm.
Simply put, some of you have an age group where it doesn’t even get as far as the first example.
You simply may have a bit of an introvert, or a child who became more of one. They began to THINK some of these things and is avoiding articulating them. They are in their comfort zone!
Remember its been over a year since the Pandemic began, everyone is older and more used to the new norm.
In what way might your child show that they need a bit more support?
Thinking about our children and their reactions … how do we know when they need skill building?
Depending Upon Your Family Circumstance (Health) and Comfort Level .
Some options of summer activities include:
sports that you can make group competition in an individual way.
solo basketball ( everyone in the group has a ball), and games of shooting, or competitive skill go on)
soccer ( use your feet ), walking , bike riding can be done at safe distances, Canvas art
Drawing , Graffiti my driveway or a piece of paper about all the cool stuff in our Friendship
Listen to music, Make or write music Watch or create independent positive message film
WANT TO SEE YOUR IDEAS on the Website ? Create your own cool ideas and send them to InspireAmind.net@ protonmail.com
and they will be featured here. You will be given credit by choosing an emoji of a star, lightbulb, sport, theater or professional nature to represent your idea.
I am not able to post names for confidentiality. Sharing Ideas is helpful to everyone- thank you!
Helping you find your peace with social skills and transition groups –check out the homepage and specialties Page!💡
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