Harassed parents of Hoosier teenagers know their kids don’t want social distancing to ease; they want it to end. Talking, texting and sharing Tiktok videos may have gotten them through the last couple of months, but today’s demand is for hangouts and overnights.
The number one question on the mind of teenagers right now is “Can I go…..?”
Can I go to the park? Can I go spend the night with…? Can I ….? Can I….?
Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball for successful parenting during a pandemic. With almost 45 % of Indiana Covid positive people reporting no symptoms, there is no fool proof way of knowing which places are “safe” and which aren’t. From a physical standpoint, it is probably safest to not go anywhere at all. Realistically, however, parents have to use their judgement.
Assuming that your teenagers and all other household members are not among the “at risk” populations, some degree of venturing out is reasonable as restrictions ease.
State and local regulations can offer guidelines, but only you can evaluate individual situations. Only you can decide when a store is too crowded and when it isn’t, when a trip is necessary (or worth the risk), etc. And only you have to put up with your child’s reaction when you don’t say “yes”.
The good news is that there is no perfect answer. The bad news is that there is no perfect answer. No matter what you decide about letting your children “out”, you run the risk of being wrong. You’re not alone in this. No matter what your in-laws or parents or relatives think, all parents right now are having to make these decisions every day, without knowing with absolute certainty that they’re making the right ones. All you can really know for certain, is that you’re doing the best you can, and you’re making these decisions with love. Whether or not your teenager believes that, however, may be another matter entirely.