In case you’ve forgotten, going through your teenage years can be tough. There are all of the physical changes of puberty, the plethora of effects hormones can have, as well as social and lifestyle changes to accommodate. Stress, anxiety, and even depression can become a lot more common during these years. So, what can you do to be the emotional support that they need?
Talk about it
It might sound simple enough, but there are so many topics that can go unaddressed or under-addressed in the average family home, and mental health is one of them. Learn how to talk to your teen about mental health. Check in with them on a regular basis, and make sure that they know that you are a safe place to confide in. Most importantly, listen to them and take the time to verbally acknowledge their emotions. You shouldn’t always try to “fix” what is wrong, even if you feel like they are thinking or doing things you don’t like.
Establish healthier patterns of living
There are many lifestyle factors that can help improve mental and emotional health. It’s not as simple as finding the right band-aid for the job. However, helping them find a workable schedule and routine for school life, encouraging them to join you in getting active more often, and setting a bedtime to make sure that they get enough sleep. Of course, don’t mistake these healthier patterns of living as a working treatment if they are in real emotional distress.
Know when to get some help
There’s a lot that you can do to create a home that is a lot more emotionally healthy for your teens. However, you can’t always be the only help that they’re going to need. Whether they are dealing with things that are a little more than you’re able to handle or you simply acknowledge that they could use help with their emotional health, you should always consider youth psychotherapy to be a valid option. A confident, practiced hand can do a lot of good in helping your teen address their issues in a healthy way that they might not learn otherwise.
Mind yourself too
You want to be a pillar of support for your teen, but it can be difficult if you’re not firing on all cylinders. If stress, anxiety, or other worries are getting to you, then you need to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself. Putting a strong front to help your kids is only going to get you so far. Make sure that you’re aware of when you need help, or when you need to pause, re-evaluate and take some action to get things back on an even keel.
Awareness of mental and emotional health, and taking steps to work through them, is an important part of raising a family and it’s not one that a lot of us talk about enough. Hopefully, the tips above can help you be a little more mindful and helpful where your teens are concerned.