How Parents Can Help Their Teenagers Deal With Today’s Mental Health Issues
Being a teenager can be scary and stressful nowadays. Many teenagers deal with the pressures of fitting in and saying “No” to drugs and alcohol. In addition, teenagers can be victims of bullying which can lead to depression and suicide. Many teenagers may suffer from depression, loneliness, or struggle with some undiagnosed mental health disorder such as Bipolar Disorder.
As a concerned parent, there are ways on how to help your teenager overcome these fear related issues.
Here are six suggestions a parent should follow in helping their teens overcome the pressures of being a teenager in today’s stressful environment.
1. Talk To your teenager on a regular basis. One of the most important things a parent can do is to talk to their teenager about the current issues that they may be dealing with. Get into the habit of talking to your teen once a week about how they are doing. Do not be a nag and bother your teenager with endless questions. Two way communication with your teenager on a regular basis is very important in helping your teenager overcome their everyday issues.
2. Education is Key. Both parents and your teenager should schedule a one or two hour session with a mental health counselor to learn about how to deal with today’s mental health issues. The parents should be educated on the issues of bullying, suicide, addiction, and depression and should be knowledgeable on the signs a regular teen may show if they are dealing with these issues. Knowing what signs to look for when someone is struggling with bullying, depression, and other mental health issues can help prevent things from getting worse.
The teenager should be aware the options they can use to get the necessary help that is available if they experience and of these mental health issues. Every teen should be aware of the resources that are out there to help them and they should be aware of where to go for help. Remind your teenager that they are not alone and make sure they know how to get help for their problems.
3. Watch Out For Any Red Flags. Do Not Assume Anything. If you notice any changes in your teenager’s moods or behavior, do something about it by discussing these changes with your son or daughter. Do not assume that your teenager is going through some kind of phase or they will snap out of it. Talk to your teenager about your concerns and try to get to the bottom of why your teenager is acting differently than normal.
4. How To Encourage Your Teenager To Talk To You. Many teenagers are reluctant to talk to their parents about bullying, drugs and alcohol, and other related issues because they are afraid their parents will get angry and take it out on them. Some teenagers may think their parents may not care or that their parents won’t be able to understand their situation. With this in mind, encourage your teenager that they can come and talk to you about anything that is bothering them and that you won’t get angry or upset. Try to establish a sense of trust with your teenager and encourage them to come to you when they are struggling.
5. Learn From Other Parents. It doesn’t hurt to talk to other parents and find out what they do to encourage their teenagers to talk with them. If you have trouble getting your teenager to open up to you, a parent can get advice from another parent or a professional to find out what they can do to improve. A parent can also ask their teenager and see what he or she has to say. Regardless of what your teenager may tell you, do not get upset and start arguing with them. Listen to what your teenager has to say, and try to follow their advice.
6. See Things From Your Teenager’s Perspective. Many parents engage their teenagers from an adult’s perspective. Although this may be helpful, there are times that you need to talk to your teenager on their terms. Try to see things from your teenager’s perspective when dealing with their problems. Put yourself in their shoes and get an idea of what they may be going through. If you have trouble relating to your teenager, talk to a school counselor or another professional who can give you some insights on what its like to be a teenager. Once you see things from your teenager’s perspective, you will be better able to get your teenager to open up to you.