With cases of teen anxiety on a steady increase, it's important for any parent to know how they can help their teen cope with it. To make sure that you're raising a healthy and well-adjusted family, it's good to empower your children with good self-esteem and enable them to cope well in stressful situations. If you believe that your teenager is prone to anxiety, here are five ways in which you can help them.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that almost 19% of American adults and 31% of adolescents are going to experience anxiety. These numbers show that if your teen faces these issues, they are not alone, and so it's possible to find resources and activities to help them cope. Sometimes, anxiety is a result of both external and internal conflict, leaving someone feeling isolated and misunderstood. A teenager will have a lot going through their mind at any given time as they navigate different issues.
A good way to help them feel less alone is to listen to them. Offering a listening ear and an environment free of judgment can help them open up. By addressing their issues, they will often be better placed to work them out and avoid being stressed to their breaking point.
Model Positive BehaviorAs children often follow along with what the adults in their lives do, it's important to not only give your teens instructions but also model the positive habits you wish to teach them. Teens are still essentially more children than they are adults, which is why you should not place too much responsibility on navigating life on them. When you realize that they need help, offer it, but don't overstep your bounds, lest you force them into a cocoon. If your teen can observe you facing situations positively, they are likely to do the same.
Talk About Feelings
Feelings are difficult for many people to navigate. If you sense your teen going through something, don't let them go through it alone. Talk with them about their feelings and allow them to also talk to you when they're ready. By letting them know that feelings are normal and sometimes overwhelming, they won't end up in the deep end not understanding what's going on or even thinking that something is wrong with them. They may be experiencing anxiety due to a number of issues, from meeting new people at school to acne breakouts. Remind them that these things are normal to feel anxious about, as making friends at school is nerve-wracking, and 1.5 billion people aged between 15 and 45 years of age experience acne!
Don't Teach Them to Avoid Anxiety-Inducing Situations
While it's not going to be easy to watch your child go through a situation that makes them anxious, be with them through it rather than helping them avoid it. Doing this encourages a coping mechanism that won't do good for them. Instead, help them manage their anxiety and reinforce them with affirmation, letting them know they can handle it and they're doing well.
Find a Calming Activity You Can Engage In Together
Boredom can aggravate negative emotions, and a teen with anxiety will not be able to cope it if they remain in the house all of the time. With endless activities available, you can find a calming hobby that you can engage in together. Think of fishing, coloring, taking dancing classes, and even gardening and landscaping, which has the plus of raising your property value by up to 12%.
Help your teen come up with positive coping mechanisms for their anxiety. With your help, they can develop healthy habits that'll aid them throughout middle school, high school, and beyond.
Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.