The pandemic has hit every level of society pretty hard. Even though people are starting to get vaccinated, I think we all know that this is going to be a slow process.
There’s one section of our population that has been hit the hardest and that’s our teens. Now, let’s face it, most kids under 13 have been affected by not seeing their friends at school or socially. However, most of them can still have some semblance of normalcy.
Teenagers on the other hand find it much more difficult to acclimatise to the current situation. A new survey that polled young people around the world found that it was teenage females and teenagers from developing countries that were hit the hardest.
However, what the study did find is that more than a third of young people reported feeling optimistic about their future.
The Global Survey on Youth & COVID-19 interviewed 12,000 young people from 112 countries, aged between 18 and 29. Conducted during April and May 2020. This survey gives us a better understanding of the general mood out there with all of the school closures, economic conditions and lockdown restrictions.
Despite all of the negativity regarding the lockdowns, believe it or not, there is still a lot of optimism for the coming years.
Getting Used To The Pause
Did you know that with all of the lockdowns that we 73% of the respondents felt that they were affected.
Also, almost one in eight are seeing their training and education provision come to a halt since the pandemic began.
Now, even though there have been several efforts to continue educational provision via distance learning or by moving these lessons online, over 65% of teenagers felt that they had learnt less during the crisis.
Online learning was suddenly thrust upon us with very little warning, but, what they didn’t calculate was just how bad the internet connection was or access to a computer was. This was especially true with families that lived in more rural locations where the internet speeds are terrible.
Also, some of the platforms used by schools to provide digital learning weren’t all up to scratch. With some teachers struggling to get to grips with them. Now, this is by no means a criticism, but just highlighting how difficult it has been for everyone.
Over half of those surveyed thought that the pandemic would delay their education while 9% were convinced that it may even cause their education to fail.
Optimism at Work
Did you know that there was an increasing problem with youth unemployment before the pandemic with a whopping 15 to 24 year olds more than three times as likely to be out of work than their counterparts who are over 25. Unfortunately, for most, the situation has made things a lot worse with the figure slowly creeping up.
Worse still, one in six people who participated in the survey have actually stopped working entirely since the pandemic hit. This number includes both those that have been furloughed and those who lost their jobs, but are still working via zero hours contracts.
It has hit certain industries quite hard such as clerical support, sales, service industries and also work that was seasonal and low paid. In essence, the poorest part of our society.
If some of those teens didn’t lose a job completely, then they had their hours cut significantly
So, What Are The Implications For The future?
Even though the vast majority of the statistics in this article aren’t great and borderline depressing. Those surveyed around the world still reported that they remain confident.
An impressive two-fifths of those surveyed actually looked at their prospects in an optimistic light. The funny thing is, more men felt more optimistic about their future than women.
Among those surveyed almost half of those teenagers reported that they were looking to participate in new training and/or learning opportunities since the pandemic began.
How Can I Support My Teen's Wellbeing?
Your teen is going to be feeling a whole host of different feelings and emotions during this troubling time. This is not only stressful for them, but it’s likely to be pretty stressful for you too!
The first thing we can do as parents is help them to manage their feelings and emotions. One way you could help them is to suggest that they journal what they have experienced and how it has made them feel.
Oftentimes, writing down what we feel provides a much deeper perspective and also allows us to understand what is happening.
Also, setting some time aside in the day where you are available to talk to them is also a good idea. This allows you to get to the heart of anything they are worried about and also there to offer them some advice.
In a world where we are rushing around and focused on our own wellbeing, it can be easy to forget that others also need support. Even if they act so confident on the outside.
One of the things that does help with their wellbeing is stepping outside of the house and going for a walk or bike ride. This may sound quite a simple solution but, it is really effective when we need to gather our thoughts or simply just get away from it all.
Whether you choose to go out together or if you encourage them to go out on their own. Time away and getting some much needed fresh air will do wonders for their wellbeing and will also lower the stress levels too!
Even though we encourage you to be there to offer support. It’s also a good idea to realise when they need some space and respect their boundaries.