Do you need resources to teach tweens and teens the importance of keeping social distance? If you’re hearing that you’re the only crazy parent who won’t let her kids hang out with all their friends right now, help is on the way!
How to Teach Tweens and Teens to Keep Social Distance
With the recent novel coronavirus pandemic and the resulting Covid-19 disease, I hear a lot of parents struggling with their teens and tweens over staying home and keeping social distance. After fighting relentlessly with my own kids who say they are the ONLY ONES with a crazy mom, I have put together a list of resources that helped me convince my kids that staying in is a good idea.
While they’re still griping about being bored, at least they aren’t yelling at me for being an overreacting parent anymore.
Our kids’ public school in Iowa was canceled hours before they were to report back to school on Monday after a three-day weekend. Out for at least four weeks, they were initially really excited. My kids went to bed that night dreaming of the mall, the movies, the trampoline park, and running around with friends. When they got up on Monday morning and started asking to hang out with their friends, pandemonium ensued.
What do you mean, we can’t hang out with our friends?! You expect us to stay locked up in this house for FOUR WEEKS with no contact with ANYONE? Coronavirus isn’t ruining my life, YOU ARE!”
I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “it’s just the flu, mom!! You’re being ridiculous.” Well, that’s not how the international medical community, the hospitals in Italy, or the thousands of people who are dying see it. To convince our kids to accept social distancing, we have to get our facts straight and help them see the bigger picture.
Now that many of us are thrust into being home full time with our kids, it might be difficult to convince them of the necessity to stay home. If you’re struggling with your tweens and tween too, go through a few of the resources listed here, read the news with them, and convince them they’re doing the right thing right now by not hanging out with their friends.
Resources to Teach Tweens and Teens the Importance of Social Distancing
From studying about the Spanish Influenza, to learning more about Covid-19, watching movies and playing games, these real life activities can help you convince stubborn teens and tweens that it's better to stay in than venture out with friends even if it seems ALL of their friends are allowed to socialize together.
Read this article with your teens and tweens then discuss. The fact is, we're not having fun snow-days right now. We need to keep our distance to help hospitals be able to treat this increase in people who WILL get ill. Hospitals are already at capacity on a good day. Add an influx of people sick with Covid-19 and you have a recipe for disaster.
This PDF is a complete lesson plan on the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919. Written for completion in a classroom setting, it would be very easy to modify this activity to complete with your kids. I highly recommend downloading the PDF lesson plan and put your kids to work analyzing lessons learned from past catastrophes.
For 99 cents, download a game where your kids can become evil scientists. Let them try to take over the world by creating and evolving a plague. This oddly realistic game might be just the ticket to get your kids to understand more about pandemics and spread. Available in the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store too.
Caution here with sensitive or younger kiddos, but if your children are still giving you hard time about staying home alone, watch Contagion with them. You can rent it from Amazon for only $3.99 or buy it for $9.99.
With only a few required items, you can teach your kids about how germs spread. These experiments are pretty basic, but I think my tweens would still enjoy watching germs grow after coming in contact with basic household items - cell phone, sink faucet, counter top.
This video by Khan Academy looks at confirmed cases in Wuhan China and shows how to estimate actual cases in any given area using the Chinese strategy. The video is really interesting - worth your 13 minutes of attention. Access the video here.
Have you been able to convince your teens about the importance of keeping social distance? What worked for you? Please share! And stay healthy!!
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