Teen Angst: What Should a Parent Do?
Being a teen is not an easy experience. There are so many monumental changes going on and it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed or stressed. If you are concerned that your child is experiencing teen angst, use these helpful tips to address the issue.
Let them know you are there
They need to know they have a safe place. Let them know often that you are there for them. Take them seriously. If they come to you, be ready to listen. Even if it seems silly to you, remember you were once young and felt the weight of the world on your shoulders. If they feel you are not taking them seriously, they will not open up to you. A great time is in the car, when they do not have to make eye contact and may feel more comfortable.
Offer outlet strategies
Have them put their headphones on and take a walk around the block if they are feeling stressed or moody. Get them involved in a sport or hobby class. Anything to get them up and moving can help to ease their stress. It is okay to let them get lost in a video game or a movie every once in a while. Sometimes, they really just need their space. Sometimes it is best to let them know you will give them space until they are ready to talk is enough to help them realize the emotions they are facing. It also lets them know you are respecting their feelings, but that you do expect to address the concern together.
Help them identify their triggers
Sometimes teens can be moody due to lack of sleep, being hungry or having a personal problem with a friend. Try to help them identify what is making them upset. Have them drink some water, eat a snack or take a nap. Ask them if they need help with homework. Evaluate their daily schedule with them. They might need help better organizing themselves, like setting out their outfit the night before or having a consistent homework schedule.