Raising kids is always a challenging task. For some, it’s more trying than others. During your child’s teenage years, they’re learning to have their own autonomy. This can present itself as rebellion, and cause a serious strain on your relationship. You only want what’s best for them, but sometimes you need to be open to listening to what they believe their needs are.
Adolescence is also a time when mental illness can present itself for the first time. With hormonal and social changes, it can be a lot to handle. Here are five tips that will help your troubled teen through these tumultuous years.
Seek professional help if needed.
You might notice that your teen is feeling a little down in the dumps. That isn’t unusual, especially if they have a lot on their plate with homework and extracurricular activities. If this persists as well as other feelings, like hopelessness, irritability, loss of interest, and irregular eating—too much or too little food—you should make sure your teen sees a doctor. Monitor your teen closely when they exhibit depressive behaviors. If left unchecked this can be life-threatening. Encourage your teen to be honest with the doctor, even if it’s difficult. It can be hard for teens to identify these changes in themselves, so talk to them about changes you’ve noticed.
If your teen is diagnosed with depression, you may want to consider sending them away to a treatment center. This might sound dramatic, but giving your teen access to a positive and healing place could alter the outcome of their whole lives. Polaris teenage depression rehab centers work around the clock to help your teen feel better, understand their mental illness, and provide coping mechanisms to get through challenging times and environments. Their treatment is evidence-based, certified, and supportive. With the help of Polaris’ licensed therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians, your teen will have a fighting chance to live a healthy life.
Encourage them to journal.
Journaling can be very healing. Therapists often recommend journaling to their clients. By writing or typing your feelings, you no longer have to hold onto them. This will give your teen a safe space to release his or her feelings. Encourage your teen to write about positive moments in their lives and list things that they’re grateful for. Encourage them to include pictures, almost like a scrapbook.
Your teen probably takes a lot of pictures and media that they could include in their journals. To help them keep track of their lives through photo journaling, gift them access to personal photo storage with ibi. A personal cloud device, like ibi, will allow them to store all of their photos and videos in one place. They can also easily share photos from your family outings with you and others if you’re cool enough to be in their “inner circle.”
Teenagers are always going to be pushing boundaries. It’s what they do, but creating boundaries on how they treat you and others in the family can make a big difference in your family dynamic. If they’re set on making everyone feel as miserable as they do, tell them that you recognize whatever it is that’s making them upset, but set a boundary by letting them know they can’t treat you and others like a punching bag just because they’re feeling down.
Offer them an impartial ear.
Create a space in your home where your teen can be honest with you even about subjects you don’t want to hear about. Your teen may be lashing out; because they’ve got something on their plate that they’re uncomfortable approaching you about. Let them know you’re willing to listen and talk. Try to be impartial and extend them grace, even if they’ve “messed up.” Help them figure out how to fix it.
Give them space to grow.
Being a helicopter parent never actually accomplished anything. Find more constructive ways to be in your child’s life. Know when to take a step back and let them learn. When they fall, don’t approach the aftermath with “I told you so.” Help them understand the lesson they learned and allow them to grow without shame.