Government have introduced new measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, with individuals only allowed to leave their home for a limited number of purposes. Significantly for those who are used to congregating in large groups of friends, the measures also include the banning of gatherings of more than two people.
Knowsley Council urges its residents to follow the guidance in order to prevent the spread of the virus, stay safe and save lives. However parents with teenage children may find this particularly challenging so here are some pieces of advice and guidance which may help.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “We appreciate that staying in their houses for a long period of time can be challenging, particularly for teenagers who rely and thrive on the relationships they have with friends. However government guidance is clear and in order to prevent the spread of this virus we must stay indoors and practice social distancing. We hope parents in our borough will support this national effort and encourage their children to stay indoors.”
Stopped by police
Remind teenagers that Merseyside Police officers continue to patrol Knowsley communities. While on patrol they will engage with groups of teenagers to explain the need for social distancing. Powers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 now exist to save lives and to protect the public and NHS. Groups of teenagers may be directed to return home into the care of a responsible adult. Rather than use these powers, Merseyside Police are looking for teenagers to understand the consequences of their actions and the rationale behind the current national restrictions on movements and gatherings.
Keep in touch
While teenagers can’t see their friends in the real world they can stay in touch virtually. There are a number of mobile apps available including WhatsApp, HouseParty and Zoom available which allow group chats.
Explain the rules
Explain what measures are in place and importantly why. Perhaps discuss the risks within the context of their own family to help them connect with the reasons the measures are in place, eg. Would you like to see your grandad/nan sick?
Give them options
Offering a sense of choice can help teenagers feel in control so offer them options for how they structure their day eg. Would you like to go for a walk this morning or this afternoon?
There are a number of ways to access free content to keep both the mind and body entertained. The National Theatre will be streaming productions of their plays for free from 2 April while fitness coach Joe Wicks is hosting regular weekday workouts for the whole family to enjoy. Simply use Google to find things that suit your teen’s interests.