What a lonely childhood, the true effect of the pandemic.
We always say " When I was growing up we were out till the street lights came on" We didn't have cell phones or really helicopter moms. It was basically get back here at 8 or your grounded. What I mean by grounded is not just the threat, our parents followed through.
Now we are raising our kids in a already detached world and then lets sprinkle in a pandemic. We teach them to be warm, caring and inviting. Now I am having to teach them to be distant, cold and awkward. I go to the store and when someone cuts in front of me no longer so they say " excuse me " with a smile. When I run into someone I know its a quick hello and on we go. Your judged on if you send your kids to school or keep them home. Judged if you see family or don't.
We can't even compare this to anything we went through as kids. I keep hearing " Kids are resilient, they will adjust". Sure they will but what's the aftershock. It might not happen immediately but months and years down the road. The lack of structure, schooling, friends, sports, seeing their parents stressed beyond measure. The social isolation to me has the biggest impact. Our kids are lonely, even if they don't tell you.
They are trying to adjust but can't. Substituting in person friendship and activities, for facetime calls, Xbox live games and social media. They lack laughing, running, jumping and all above else human contact, hugs. I know that my older son has made this his new normal and it scares me. He spends time in his room on calls or games to still have friendships with friends he hasn't seen in almost a year. I believe this is doing irreversible damage, they are unlearning social norms and cues. How will they enter back in the real world once they are able to. This is the real world to them, a lonely one.
So talk to your kids. I know this isn't easy especially with our teens. But even though they seem good, their not I promise you and they need you. When my older son was younger we came up with a way to have conversations where he felt comfortable. When he said "Mom, I need to have a orange conversation" that meant he needed me to listen and not get mad. That's exactly what I do. I don't react, when we are done I thank him for telling me and leave the room. He trust's me now and I know if something really bad comes up and he tell me. So have your own "orange" conversation and let them tell really where they are.