A big problem teens face today is one that can’t be seen or heard, but experienced only by the individual themselves. There is a growing number of teenagers who suffer from anxiety, and to make matters worse, some parents do not understand this and can easily end up downplaying their children’s suffering.
However, there is a proper approach to this where you can help your teenager’s mental health tremendously, build indomitable trust amongst the both of you, and break down barriers.
Here are a few examples on how to help your teenager who is struggling with anxiety.
1. Acknowledge your teenager’s feelings.
Many parents do not understand what their teenagers are going through. Oftentimes, parents might undermine their teenager’s feelings of anxiety. This common misconception stems from assuming that their teenager has it good with their lives, such as there’s a roof over their heads and meals on the table, and the family is in a financially good place.
When parents approach it from such a perspective, they will assume that their children have everything and shouldn’t feel the way they do. They may think that their teenager’s feelings are just them being overly sensitive.
However, this method may cause resentment. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they are going through. You’ve been a teenager too.
In the case where you don’t know why they are feeling this way, just be there for them. Give them a hug, reassure them that they are alright, and let them know that you are there for them no matter what.
2. Encourage positivity.
As much as your teenagers wouldn’t like to admit it, they look up to you. You are a role model for them. That means whatever you say or do can have a huge impact on the development of their personality and how they react to difficult situations.
One of the best ways to nurture your teenager’s mental strength and fortitude is just by teaching them how to be positive. Encourage them to go outside and have some fun. Support them in learning new hobbies wholeheartedly. You could even find something completely new and interesting to do together, it’ll give you a great bonding time, and create wonderful memories together.
For example, you could ask your teenager to come and have a workout session together. You might’ve not worked out in a while and it might also help your teenager get their mind off negative matters. Going on a workout, they’ll feel much better. Plus, if you continuously praise and encourage them during the session, they will become much more confident. Mentioning things such as they are the reason why you want to work out, and get fit so you can spend more time with them. It’ll warm their hearts up and you would be amazed at how these words of encouragement and love would completely drown out the negative voices in their head!
3. Consider professional help.
Sometimes, there is only so much a parent can do. You might be a wonderful mom or dad, but if you think your teenager’s struggles are too much, it might be a good time to consider professional help.
Anxiety and depression is real, and many teenagers don’t know how to deal with it nor vocalize it out, especially to their parents. When it gets too serious, sending your teenagers to a psychologist or psychiatrist evaluation may be the best solution.
Compassion goes a long way.
Compassionately trying to understand and sympathize with your teenager can go a long way. Try and find a solution together. Just making sure they know you’re always there to help them whenever they’re in need can sometimes be enough to get them going in the right direction.