Right now, millions of families all over the world are stuck at home. They’re finding new and creative ways to bond and spend time together. But for those families with hormonal teens, these times have been extra stressful. 

Many teenagers spent as much time out of the house as they could before quarantine started. They went out with friends, drove around, and ate at fast food places. But now these social butterflies are stuck in a cage. The first week or two of quarantine might have not been too bad, just an increase in sudden junk-food disappearances, and internet activity, but as we near a month into social distancing, things are starting to get difficult.

Just like anyone else, teenagers experience cabin fever (irritability from having to stay indoors for a long time) and need to vent their frustrations. You might’ve noticed your child picking fights with you or their siblings more often, or being in an overall bad mood. There isn’t much you can do about it, though. Teenagers thrive with their friends, and being stuck at home with boring ol’ mom and dad probably isn’t as much fun.

Sure, there are phones and computers so that they can still keep in touch with people from the outside, but it’s not the same. Teens all over the world are having to do long distance relationships, not just with their boyfriend or girlfriend, but with all their friends. Even school is online and many teens find it difficult to learn when not in a physical classroom. 

These times can be especially aggravating for those who were supposed to graduate this year. Not only has the class of 2020 lost social interaction, but they have also lost prom, their graduation ceremony, field trips, clubs, sports, band, orchestra and choir, and theater. This was supposed to be their final year of high school, the best year yet, but sadly most seniors didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to their favorite teachers, or have one last lunch with their friends that they can’t see outside of school.

The best advice I can offer for you to help your child is to just listen. If they want to complain about not seeing friends, let them. If they say they’re struggling with their math work, help them. We are all finding ways to deal with the sheer boredom brought onto us, so don’t get mad when your child spends hours on their phone, or sleeps in a little longer than usual. Quarantine has been hard on all of us, so the next time your teenager acts out, please remember that they’re just as, or even more so, frustrated, sad, angry, and very upset about the whole situation as you are.