When your kiddo hits those teenage years, it can be difficult to decipher between a hormone-driven mood swing and a bout of real, damaging anxiety and/or depression. As a parent, your job is to instill coping mechanisms that help your young teen in whatever mood they find themselves in—hormonal or otherwise.
Tip: There is a plethora of resource information about depression and anxiety. Do your homework.
Establish a Strong Parent-Child Bond with Communication, Support, and Encouragement
From a young age, you should let your love and affection for your little one shine through. Strong parent-child bonds are built on encouragement, support, and communication, so keep those elements going throughout their childhood and teen years. Talk to your teens whenever possible, take an interest in their lives, and encourage them to be honest and open with their feelings.
Help Your Teen Count Their Blessings, but Don’t Ignore Their Feelings
Never, ever make them feel bad for feeling a certain way, because a single negative reaction from you could break years of built-up trust. Instead try to navigate away from those negative feelings in favor of positivity. Help your young teen count their blessings. Encourage them to talk about things that make them happy, or events that they might be excited about.
Ask Your Young Teen What They Need and Want Help-Wise from You
Sometimes the best course of action to help your teen cope with anxiety or depression is to ask them directly what they need, want, or expect from you. Do they need space to think? Do they need to talk things through? Give them options and respect their decisions until the proverbial storm passes.
Know When to Seek Treatment
If your young teen is regularly feeling down or seems to have lost all interest in things they once loved, you should seek help elsewhere. Professional treatment is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it might help your young teen to talk to someone outside of your family.
Take Care of Your Young Teen, but Take Care of Yourself Too
Raising children is hard work, especially when they reach those dreaded teen years. However, the best way you can take care of your young teen is through taking care of yourself too. You need as much encouragement, support, and love as they do, so don’t negate your feelings when trying to help them cope with theirs.