Lockdowns have had a big impact on young people and on family life. Building resilience for teens and their families is essential now (and always).
Is there anything more difficult that being a teenager?
Well, we’d argue that being the parent of a teenager is pretty tough too!
Since the beginning of the pandemic, parents and anyone with young people in their lives have had an implicit understanding that restrictions – while important to stop the spread of COVID-19 – have impacted heavily on our kids. Being unable to go to school in person, see friends, or celebrate normal milestones has taken its toll. We’re asking them to limit how much of the world they can experience as they grow, all in addition to navigating the minefield of adolescent challenges, including physical changes, social and school pressures.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that these feelings are very much rooted in fact. According to a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics around the impact of COVID-19, 30% of younger Australians experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in June 2021, compared with 18% of people aged 35 to 64 years and 10% of people aged 65 years and over.
Lockdowns and the pandemic are having an impact on families too. According to this survey from The Guardian, two-thirds of parents feel worried about how lockdowns are impacting their children’s mental health, while half are worried that their child is developing behavioural issues. Family dynamics have been touched in a variety of ways; research has shown effects at both extremes, from those who report mental health challenges to those who are enjoying additional time as a family the lockdowns and working from home allows.
For parents worried about the welfare it can be difficult to know where to get help. Another study of 14 – 17-year-olds, conducted during the second Melbourne lockdown last year by the Murdoch Children’s Institute, found that many families were simply not getting the help they need.
However, it’s not just the parents of the more seriously impacted teenagers that need guidance. Almost everyone needs assistance getting through this time one way or another, as do their families.
We want all our children to thrive, not just survive.
The importance of developing resilience
So, what’s the answer to helping our children and our families through this challenging period of our lives (and of history)?
One word: RESILIENCE.
As Alain de Botton famously quoted “A good half of the art of living is resilience.” But how can we support our kids in build this vital life skill?
After many years of teaching life skills alongside our beautiful herd of horses, we know first-hand how important resilience is for every one of us. Horses role model the tools we need to embrace life head-on with resilience, determination, and joy.
🌸 Horses model empathy, kindness, and acceptance – they lead with confidence not force.
🌸 Horses do not judge us for how we appear on the outside – they respond to how we make them feel on the inside.
🌸 Horses give honest and instant feedback. They respond in the moment, don’t lie, or hold a grudge.
Teaching resilience in the pandemic age
You’re probably thinking – yes that sounds great, but how on earth do we go about instilling these skills during lockdown? Where do I go when options for face-to-face interaction are limited? Do I even have the time or energy for one more commitment right now (yes, we get it, balancing home learning and work is a nightmare!)
That’s why we’re so excited to share with you our new online Teen Empowerment, program, BeYou@Home! We’ve taken the lessons learned through hundreds of client sessions with our horses and brought these to life for your tween and teen daughters at home. Suitable for girls aged 12 – 16 and endorsed by Health and Education professionals, BeYou@Home builds REAL skills & tools to support your daughter in embracing her future and becoming the very best version of herself!
Your daughter can access the program from the comfort of home and work through the material at her own pace. Each of the six workshops includes videos and practical activities building skills such as relationships, self-awareness, leadership mindfulness and goal setting – in a fun and engaging way. At the end she will receive a certificate to demonstrate her commitment and new skills.
And as a parent, the most valuable thing you’ll get is the reassurance that you’re raising a self-confident, resilient, and empowered young woman!
To get started, download your free guide to building Family Resilience Toolkit here.
For more information and to purchase the BeYou@Home Empowerment Program, please click here.