This past year has been challenging for many people. Almost overnight, our world completely changed. All of these changes have significantly increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and feeling lonely . As adults, it is hard sometimes to remember that this has not just been hard on us but also hard on our children.
Some signs that could indicate that your teen is struggling include sadness, self-isolation, worry, racing thoughts, increased or decreased sleep, low concentration, changes in appetite, and no or little enjoyment for activities that they have previously enjoyed.
These feelings and behaviors may not be evident to a parent as some can resemble normal teen behavior. Here are some things that you may notice if your teen is struggling.
- A change in hygiene habits.
- Staying in bed for long periods.
- Increased mood dysregulation (outbursts)
- Expressing that they feel on edge or appearing restless
- Grades go down, school work is not handed in on time
How To Help
Start a conversation – Try to ask your teen how they are doing and feeling. Let them know that you are there for them, and they can talk to you about it. Help them realize that their feelings are normal. You can do this by telling them about how you have been feeling. Make sure that you are focused on their responses and actively listen when they are talking to you.
Engage in activities with your teen – Plan a fun activity!. Make dinner together, bake, do arts and crafts, take a walk, watch a movie. It is even better if you let them choose the activity. Another idea could be to put together a gift basket for one of their friends or someone in need. Giving back to others helps create purpose and releases endorphins!
Find safe activities for them to engage in – As restrictions are lifted, activities are slowly starting to re-emerge. See if an activity may interest your teen, like an art class, dance class, youth group, drama club, or volunteering. In-person activity and interaction can be a great way to decrease loneliness.
Encourage a new hobby – Many options can be done from home. Does your teen enjoy creating things (online art class), do they play an instrument (music classes online)? There are so many classes and information that you can find on almost any topic for free online.
Find a professional – If you have tried a number of these ideas and your teen continues to display signs of loneliness, depression, and anxiety, it may be time to seek a professional who can help. Many of these professionals are currently offering online services. Sometimes having someone new to talk to can be helpful for teens.
3 Important Benefits to Being Humble
The quality of being humble is generally overrated, but have you ever noticed it’s the people who exhibit humility are the most relaxed and yes, even confident, people you’ve ever met?
as a parent, you realize that your teenager is more and more less important for your teens happiness. That laughter coming from the room made me realize that this time has been challenging and that perhaps all teens need to feel happy is some time with our friends.
When school informs you that your kid had been missing school a couple of days that week, what is your reaction?