A teenager tells parents how to ‘turn on the light’

Parents ought to just relax a bit at times. It’s a global pandemic we’re experiencing, not a productivity contest, writes a teenager.

Rohan Vora

The lockdown is truly a pain for me. It’s like an injection, something that gets under my skin, and pricks or pokes my very conscience. Even though I understand the necessity of it, it’s truly painful and exhausting, as I think it is for most teenagers — there are assignment deadlines to deal with, essays to work on, and family to deal with. Our parents incessantly lecture us on finding our ‘inner selves’ and being productive, but at the end of the day, after completing our school work, let’s be honest, we’re sitting in front of a laptop or television screen watching Big Bang Theory or The Office. Our parents also tell us to go out into nature to run, jog, jump, do acrobatics, whatever! But again, after that one run in the week, we’re back to our snuggly habitat, the sofa or bed, watching the latest episode of ‘Space Force’.

I feel that parents ought to just relax a bit at times. It’s a global pandemic we’re experiencing, guys, not a productivity contest. Nevertheless, being productive can be made entertaining and fun. Exercising for one can be a family rendered programme. Laps around the building or if one is daunting enough, the nearby park, can be a competitive sport between family members – with a timer in hand, see who runs, leaps or walks the fastest. Mothers or fathers can also compete with their children at home, maybe do a squash or push up or even an abs competition! Another great way of staying healthy can be trying out various diets together. If the family is extremely health conscious, try out the Keto diet and if the family is not dedicated to such an extreme, maybe try out the Paleo diet. If someone breaks these diets, there can be consequences which can be dictated to them and if they’re able to triumphantly succeed, there can be rewards too.

To understand us better, parents can also, sometimes, partake in the latest Instagram viral challenge. You all can create a #quarantine bingo challenge. Using a piece of paper just make four rows and columns and voila… you have boxes in which you can write down things you have experienced in life, it can be funny or otherwise. The new bingo card can then be sent to family and friends, and everyone can partake in some pastime joviality. Also, especially for the mother and daughters out there, there is the very popular Instagram Dalgona challenge, where using the Instagram recipe a unique, refreshing beverage can be made. Another favourite is the Ludo King application, where one can win virtual coins based on their ‘winning streak’ – a super competitive game that will be great fun with a child who loves online games. These various viral challenges and apps in the lockdown will not only be super entertaining but strengthen familial ties between child and parent, making the lockdown productive after all.

Recently, I was re-watching the hilarious Big Bang Theory and Sheldon Cooper said a phrase that resonated with me. No, it wasn’t Bazinga. Instead, it was something rather simple and yet somewhat forgotten today – YOLO! (for all the adults out there, this means You Only Live Once). The phrase got me riled up and that day, I went for a run to the garden with my father, helped my mom bake a lemon cake in the kitchen and played a Nerf gunfight with my sister. Spend time with your kids and partake in all these crazy challenges and kids likewise, have fun with your parents and place the laptop screen down once in a while. There can be some sense of fun even in these frustrating and sometimes, excruciating times. I think Professor Dumbledore said it best – “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times when only one remembers to turn on the light”.

Rohan Vora is a student at UWCSEA in Singapore.

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