Parent’s Guide to Teen Mental Health

Being a teenager in this day and age is a lot more challenging than in generations past. As today’s teens go through the physical and psychological changes that come with age and puberty, they’re faced with a number of unique challenges and obstacles that can have an adverse effect on their emotional well-being. Those who get through their teen years without too many complications are often teens that have the support and cooperation of their parents.

There’s a lot of pressure on the shoulder of teenagers today and, unfortunately, not many are prepared for it. On a daily basis, teenagers are trying to keep up with the increasing demands of school, please their parents, while also trying to appeal to and fit in with their peers. While this sounds like nothing new, there have been significant shifts in society that make these years even more difficult to manage. From the increased use of technology and the change in parenting styles to the heightened attention paid to sexual identity and body image, many teenagers fold under the pressure while unsuspecting parents neglect or overlook the problem. This then leads to an increased rate of teens suffering from mental illness and or engaging in activities like abusing drugs and alcohol.

Preventing Mental Illness in Teens

Fortunately, there are places that offer teen treatment in Southern California and other states across the US for those who have mental illness or substance abuse problems. Be that as it may, prevention is the best outcome. If parents can educate themselves on how to support their teens during this transition, they can use this information to reduce the likelihood of their teenagers having (or getting into) trouble. Below is some advice:

Promote Healthy Eating

You may not realize it, however, poor nutrition can also lead to poor mental health. The foods you eat each day serve as fuel which helps both the body and the brain to function properly. If your teenager’s diet consists of quick microwaveable snacks, takeout, and junk food, they are doing their emotional well-being a huge disservice. You can help to promote healthy eating in the household by cooking more meals at home and having healthy snack options available for your teen.

Create a Healthy Environment for Communication

In a world where information is easily accessible and platforms for sharing are plentiful, you want to know that your teens know they can come to you as they go through good and bad times in their lives. This means creating a healthy environment for communicating with your teen. Your teens don’t want to be lectured, made to feel bad, or like you’re forcing your opinions on them or else they’ll turn to their friends, social media, and other mediums for advice.

Talk with your teens often and openly about everyday life. Don’t be afraid to share some of the mistakes you made, the experiences you went through, and even the emotions you felt. When they do open up to you, be sure to listen and not judge and provide advice as it is asked. A healthy dialogue with your teen on a regular basis means they’ll come to you whenever they need help.

Give Space (But Pay Attention)

Trying to force your teens to do the right things in life often backfires. It creates friction within your relationship and often encourages them to rebel and try things without your knowledge. So, as your child gets older, it is important to provide them with the space and freedom they need to learn about life and themselves. Be that as it may, you must do so within reason as too much freedom could also lead to a path of destruction.

Pay attention to your teen. Be mindful of their behavior and personalities. From the clothes they wear and the music they listen to, to the friends they hang out with and their academics, be aware of what’s going on with your teen so that you’re quickly aware of any red flags that you need to step in and/or get them help.

There are millions of teenagers across the country suffering from some form of mental illness. Though there are a number of underlying factors as to how it happens, the daily pressures, trials, and tribulations of living life as a teenager today are at the top of the list. If you’d like to support your teen in remaining emotionally healthy through this difficult stage in their lives, utilize the advice above to be the foundation and supportive force they’ll need.

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