Five Simple Ways Parents Can Support Their Teen Through Virtual Learning

Many students and educators returned to school this week, but the COVID-19 pandemic has school looking a little different this year. For many this means a hybrid schedule or virtual learning to start the 20-2021 school year. Since March life has looked remarkably different as we struggle to find safety and a sense of normalcy. Parents and teens alike are encountering an academic year like no other. We spoke with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Brandee Silverman and she provided useful tips on how families can support teens that are returning to virtual learning this fall.

Structure is key but it has to work for your teen. Have your teen create a schedule that will work for them. It should prioritize work and also include recreation and brain breaks. This will give them some control over their schedule and can ease anxiety.

Teens need their friends. Peer relationships are imperative during this stage of life. Allow your teen to time with friends virtually and maintain privacy. Since they are no longer at school it is important for teens to have the space to develop their independence and own identity.

Listen not lecture. Check in with your teens daily, and just listen. Provide space each day for your teen to share how they are doing and feeling. Just listen and reflect.  Often teens feel like they are being corrected or criticized by their parents, which causes teens to shut down and withhold information.  Especially during this challenging time, it is important for your teen to feel like they can come to you without feeling like they are going to be lectured.

Validate your teens feelings. It is not easy to be learning in front of a computer, isolated for hours at a time. Think back to your latest HR training for work! Let your teens know that their feelings are valid and try to connect through similar experiences.

Patience and perseverance. Be patient with your teens! The best part of being a teenager usually happens through extracurricular activities with their peers. They are truly not meant to be around their parents 24/7. Remember to take many deep breaths and know that you will get through this challenging time together (especially when they are driving you nuts)!

Brandee Silverman LMFT, is enthusiastic about mental wellness and improving relationships for teens and their families. If you are struggling to support your teen or if they are experiencing increased anxiety or depression currently, reach out to Brandee for support. Brandee sees clients virtually through Connected Counseling, LLC and Relationship Revive Therapy. To set up an appointment with Brandee please email

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