A Year Into Lockdown… Are the Teens Okay?
Darby Fox in Conversation with Andrew Keen on Keen On
The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global crisis.
In this episode, Andrew is joined by Darby Fox, the author of Rethinking Your Teenager, to discuss the moral and biological state of teenagers.
From the episode:
Andrew Keen: How bad is COVID for teenagers around the world?
Darby Fox: It’s become very bad, increasingly as we’re hitting about the one-year mark, when we went in to shutdown and told everyone not really to worry that much about it; it was temporary. Adolescents, up through college-age kids, are really struggling. Isolation, lack of certainty; we’re starting to see some real mental health issues.
Andrew Keen: What advice would you give both to parents and kids who are really suffering in being stuck at home and too close to one another?
Darby Fox: Well, at first, everybody kind of embraced the family time together, and playing games and the meals and all of that. And I think now as it’s gone on longer, we need to really respect the independence of people and not necessarily require the same amount of family time that we had previously. I think people are starting to tire of that. And the other thing is, we really need to encourage parents and need to encourage their teenagers to think differently. We used to tell them all you need to do is really study hard; if you’re athletic, focus on your athletics; if it’s music, whatever it is. You really focus, and you’ll get into a great college and then everything will be good. What we need to do instead now, because that’s all been taken off the table, is teach them to find a passion, work really hard, and allow some room for flexibility and some creative thinking.
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Darby Fox, MSW, is a child and adolescent family therapist in private practice in Connecticut and New York. With over twenty years of experience, she is an expert on parenting, child psychology, and family topics. Appearing regularly on air and in print media, Fox covers a range of topics, from parenting questions and discipline techniques to current trends in child development. She has also collaborated with Meath Media Group to develop a television series called Fractured Family with Darby Fox.