Enduring lockdowns, event cancellations, and other restrictions has been difficult for nearly everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few people realize just how profoundly the social upheaval has affected children and teens, who haven't been able to experience some of the traditional activities and moments that bring joy to their lives and shape their budding identities.
Over the past few months, many milestone events like graduations, proms, sporting events, spring recitals, and summer camps have been cancelled, and young people are left wondering if they'll ever have the chance to partake in these anticipated events. As a result, they're looking for new ways to celebrate life and connect with their friends, who they can only see on a digital screen in many cases.
Kids and teens can still lead happy and fulfilling lives, even though events are temporarily on hold. In this article, we'll be sharing some ideas for celebrations and traditions that respect social distancing but still feel satisfying.
Did you know that many schools, organizations, and even brands are hosting virtual proms for teens all over the world? For example, the Los Angeles Times invited high school students to submit photos of themselves (Source) in formalwear, so they could be superimposed on cheesy portrait backgrounds. Just because the school year is now over doesn't mean you can't still organize a virtual prom, complete with dance music from Spotify.
Every year, many children look forward to summer camp, but this year most summer camps have been cancelled. However, that doesn't mean kids can't still participate in traditional summer camp activities! Parents magazine recently shared a list of free virtual summer camps that kids will love! They include Varsity Tutors, for the ambitious kid who wants to learn a new subject and Happy Camper Live, which even has a virtual campfire.
Kids and teens may not currently be able to interact with their peers in the way they prefer, but now's a great time for them to focus instead on building their identities and learning how to express themselves in constructive and positive ways. Self expression activities can include dance, creative writing, visual arts, photography, personal style, and much more. According to Sesame Street, "Teaching kids communication skills, helping them maintain a positive outlook, and supporting them as they express how they feel can reduce stress…and help kids thrive and grow." (Source). During this stressful period in world history, healthy self expression is more crucial than ever before.
For kids and teens, one of the most difficult things about missing these milestone events is not necessarily the event cancellation. Instead, they're missing the memory and the shared bonding experience with friends and family.
If you know a child or teen who's missed an important event like a graduation ceremony or prom, then you'll want to honor her in a way that will last for many years. Giving her a piece of meaningful jewelry like a single pearl necklace from Add-A-Pearl will show her your solidarity, support, and love. Over the months and years, when she finally does get to experience those milestone events again, you'll be able to add a pearl to her necklace, which will serve as a reminder that life may be surprising and unpredictable - but always worthwhile.