Teen Issues…And 3 Ways Parents and Caregivers Can Help

Risk-Taking – Substance Use – Depression and Anxiety – Obesity – Self-Esteem Issues – Inadequate Supervision

Is your teen is experiencing any of these issues? If so, it is time to step-in! Teen especially need your support and guidance as they navigate these difficult years.

 

Talk to Your Teen

Don’t pepper them with questions – a sure way to get no response! Open up a line of communication being direct when it seems appropriate. If the time doesn’t seem right (when upset or frustrated),  set aside time to spend with them to create an open environment.

Really listen to what they have to say without interruption and and talk about the things that they want to discuss. Do you best to avoid being overly judgmental and don’t dismiss or diminish their feelings.

 

Pay Attention to Signs

Even if you talk with your teen often and feel you have good communication, there will ALWAYS be things your teen won’t talk about with you. Remember that youth at this stage are more dramatic and moody so avoid overreacting to this behavior. What you should look out for are these signs, as they are cause for concern:

  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  •  Drug and alcohol use
  •  Fatigue, sleeping all day, or lack of energy
  •  Irritability and aggression
  •  Loss of interest in activities
  •  Negative self-talk and low self-esteem
  •  Problems at school, including difficulty concentrating and poor attendance
  •  Reckless behaviors
  •  Sudden changes in behavior
  • Social withdrawal
  • Thoughts or comments about death or suicide

Tearfulness and frequent bouts of crying

 

Seek  Help When Needed

Stressful situations impact our judgment, decisions, and  actions that may not be helpful. Iif you feel overwhelmed by your youth’s issues or behaviors, get help.

If your child is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911. 

There are several avenues for help available.  The child’s doctor or school guidance counselor can talk with you and discuss available options if needed.  More mental health resources are available at the verywellmind National Helpline Database.

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