Teenage life is difficult. It’s a period of profound change when young people suddenly wake up and realise that they have no choice but to face the world as adults.
When adults look back at their teenage years, they often do so with a wry smile on their face. It was a tough time. Friendships seemed overwhelmingly important, and there were some big decisions to make. Young people have to decide the direction of their life at age 16, and sometimes earlier, without a great deal of support and help from those asking them to decide.
As such, being a teen comes with many challenges. It’s normal for people at this age to experience emotional suffering. But at what point should parents be worried? That’s the big question. While the vast majority of people make it successfully through their teenage years without serious psychological crises, many don’t.
This is something that the Eva Carlston Academy knows all too well. The center for adolescent girls takes in dozens of young people every year traumatized by things that are happening in their lives. While they were okay in the latency period, the teenage years have brought new trials for them to overcome.
So, if you are concerned about your teen, what should you be looking out for?
Changes In The Way Your Teen Functions
Pay close attention to your teen child and look for signs that the way they are functioning is changing. For instance, carefully observe the young girl who doesn’t want to try a new sport because she feels anxious about tripping and falling. Also pay attention to the boy who doesn’t want to take a test or do his homework because he is worried about failing.
Children’s relationships with their parents can also change as they hit the teenage years. For instance, some teenage girls don’t want to stay at home while their mother is there because they don’t want to get involved in conversations. Boys can sometimes avoid their fathers, spending excessive time with their friends in the evening, getting up to no good.
Of course, there are also times when your teen’s mental health spills over into physical problems. If they feel anxious all the time, they are much more likely to have tense muscles, headaches, panic attacks and gastrointestinal disturbances. These issues are often chronic and can dog them throughout their teenage lives, affecting their performance at school.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to talk to teenagers, but as a parent, it’s important to keep the conversation open. If there are challenges in their life, you’ll want to get them to open up and talk about them. If they regularly complain about headaches, try to get to the bottom of how often they happen and why.
You can also promote an environment of self-care. Teens who get more sleep, eat well and exercise are less likely to fall into crisis. Even something as simple as showering and personal hygiene can make a difference in how they feel.