What You Should Do When Your Teen Acts Stressed and Depressed

What You Should Do When Your Teen Acts Stressed and Depressed

Being the parent of a teenager can be a challenge. But it can be moreso challenging to actually be that teenager. Why? If you remember your teen years, they were rife with rampant hormones and a mess of feelings that seemed to turn those proverbial mole hills into mountains. So, what do you do when you are the parent, and your teen is stressed, depressed, and generally unhappy? Keep reading for a run-down on helpful tips.

Be Attentive to Your Teen’s Feelings

Teens often feel ignored, even when you stress that you are listening to what they say. Their inner voices are telling them one thing, while you and their loved ones are telling them something different. It can be nerve-wracking, and it wreaks havoc on their emotions. So, the best thing you can do is be attentive. Ask questions, simply sit and listen, make eye contact, and show that you truly, genuinely, without-a-doubt care about what your teen is feeling and going through.

Never Belittle Their Emotions

Unfortunately, many parents write their teens off as being hormonal—often commenting how those feelings will pass, or making comments on how teens should simply “get over it.” But put yourself in their shoes. If you were angry, depressed, or upset, it wouldn’t feel too good for someone to tell you those things. Never, ever belittle your teen’s emotions. Because, what seems like nothing to you, is mega-hurtful to them.

Stay Calm and Offer Communication, Connection, and an Open-Door Policy

Open-door policies are the best for teens because it lets them know that they can trust, rely on, and connect with you anytime. You should also stay calm when dealing with a depressed or angry teenager. Because, while it may be frustrating to attempt to connect and communicate, getting angry yourself is only going to make things worse.

Avoid the “Tough Love” Method

Unless your teen has done something completely beyond the limits of your house rules, then you should avoid the tough love methods, like taking away all of their outside-world connections. Instead, make sure you set solid boundaries, convey consequences, and try to help them stay on the right track with their behavior. Encourage them with good examples by being a good role model.

There are moments that cross the lines of being a normal emotional teenager and being a destructive or suicidal teenager. Never, ever sit back and wait for things to get better if your teen shows signs of self-harm, severe depression, or violence. In these moments, it is absolutely necessary for you to seek professional help with someone trained in psychiatric research.