Fall 2020 Main Article: Transition in the Time of COVID
We are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic as COVID continues to affect every part of our lives. And as we deal with this new normal, our children keep growing and transitioning. So, we decided that this is a good time to refresh everyone on the different parts of transition to adulthood and how we can prepare our children.
Transition to Adulthood
Transition involves many parts of a young person’s life. Learning and skill building in the areas of living, employment, health and education can lead to better outcomes for your child and you.
COVID may be putting some barriers in the way but, as families, we need to look at the things we can do to help our children with this process.
If your teen or young adult is home more than usual due to virtual learning, now is a good time to work on living skills in the home like doing laundry, making beds or cooking meals. Work together with your child on a schedule of tasks that needs to be done each day and try giving him/her more time alone to complete them.
If a job or volunteer position in the community isn’t a safe choice right now, think about a job in your neighborhood or with extended family or friends. Skills your child can work on at home can translate to a job in the future. Some jobs, like those in a small office setting or positions with little public contact, might be a good fit for this school year. Your school or the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) staff can help you brainstorm ideas.
Now is the time to emphasize the importance of staying healthy by eating right, exercising and avoiding germs. Families have a role in this learning by discussing ways to stay safe from COVID. Young adults can also start to take some control over their daily medications and help you call in refills.
School may look different depending on where you live. For children in virtual learning, there are some benefits like letting your child try new classes more easily or finding a new area of interest. There is also a wealth of online transition trainings. One example is Employment Resources Inc. that has materials on interviewing skills and many other employment-related learning opportunities.
For Parents & Caregivers
It’s a good time to learn about transition with some online trainings. For example, watch our Family Voices What’s After High School? training or take part in a Parents in Partnership or YiPPE training.
Use this time of disruption from COVID to reflect on what’s most important for your young adult and your entire family. We need to look at the positives in this situation every day and know that the pandemic will not last forever. Start by asking yourself and your child:
- Do we really need all the programming we had before COVID?
- How is my young adult adjusting to being home more or not having a day packed with activities?
- Has my child discovered new interests or talents during this time?
- How has our family become stronger during this time?
- Did we find new strengths and skills as a family that will support our child in the future?
Want to Learn More?
See our What’s After High School? resource list for information and ideas about transition.
Thank you to Martha DeYoung, PIP and YiPPE Training Coordinator, for contributing to this article!