Everyone goes through anxious times in life and teens are no exception. If your teen is struggling with anxiety you may feel helpless. Fortunately there are things you can do to get your child through stressful times.
Proactive Pointers for Parents.
Anxiety is a normal part of growing up, but it’s worrisome to see your child stressed. Time recently delved into teen anxiety and offered these important suggestions of how to help your troubled teen:
- Keep it real. When you are talking with your teen, don’t limit discussions to schedules, school work, and goals. Ask what the best part of the day was and what your teen’s concerns are.
- Respect space but stay aware. On the journey in becoming an adult, teens need their own space. But stay alert to any changes that may indicate unhealthy stress. Watch eating and sleeping habits, or changes in social behavior. If your teen is withdrawn or losing interest in what used to be favorite activities you could be seeing warning signs. Voice your concerns, but don’t be judgemental.
- Don’t get mad. If you find out that your kid has been doing something you don’t like, maintain your self-control. Your child may cut classes or be involved in other unhealthy behaviors. Instead of getting angry, talk with your teen and acknowledge that something is wrong. Ask if there is some way you can help.
- Get help. If you are worried, don’t wait to reach out for help. Discuss your concerns with a doctor, therapist or counselor. Get help before trouble becomes deeply rooted.
- Have the whole family involved. It’s possible the family may need to find a healthier behavior pattern. Stay open minded and have counseling together if necessary.
Tips for Teens.
You may be surprised at how some teens responded when asked what stresses them. According to
one study, their number one worry is school work.
Your teen may need some advice for how to handle anxiety. Here are some great ideas from TeenVogue:
- Talk therapy. Suggest that your teen talk through problems with a nonjudgmental, third party. This could be another adult such as a counselor or a teacher.
- Don’t avoid problems. Let your child know that taking time off “sick” or otherwise avoiding an issue can put off and complicate troubles.
- Get some exercise. Spending time doing yoga, shooting hoops or doing deep breathing exercises lowers stress and can give a better perspective.
- Positive mindset. Focusing on the fact that troubles are temporary can help your teen cope.
New kid in a new neighborhood.
Kids who are entering a new school can have an especially difficult time with anxiety. Experts at Psychology Today have some suggestions for helping your child cope:
- Get the school schedule ahead of time to feel better prepared.
- Schedule a tour of the school and be sure to find your kid’s classrooms.
- Take advantage if there is an orientation program.
- Encourage your teen to get involved in extracurricular activities he or she finds interesting.
Watch for Warnings.
According to some studies, one child in eight suffers from an anxiety disorder. However only about 20% of those kids get treatment. Without help, kids don’t perform as well in school, don’t do as well socially, and are more likely to abuse substances. Being fearful, shy, or nervous means your child could be struggling.
Be on the Lookout.
In some instances it is as simple as your teen telling you that they feel anxious and upset, but there are some signs both you and your teen can be on the lookout for too:
- Watch for physical signs. When we are anxious, we often have that feeling of butterflies in our stomach, but sometimes the physical symptoms are far more extreme. Nausea, trembling, hot flashes, difficulty catching your breath, and frequent bathroom trips are all physical manifestations of anxiety.
- Nighttime isn’t off-limits. While sleep is often an escape from the stresses of the day, sometimes even that doesn’t offer reprieve. Anxiety can make it feel as though your brain is going a million miles a minute, and you may have trouble shutting it off at night to get some shut eye. Once you do fall asleep, anxiety can still rear its ugly head in the form of night grinding -- your body’s way of trying to relieve stress.
Getting through it together.
Adolescence can be a tough time. It’s a worrisome time for parents, but by being proactive you can help your child with stress. You can also give your teen tips for coping. Even if your child is the new kid in school there are several ways you can ease the transition. Through it all, watch for warning signs that professional help is needed. Whether dealing with a passing phase or with an anxiety disorder, you and your teen can get through it together.
Odds are if you are reading this you or someone you know is suffering with night-time clenching or grinding of their teeth (bruxism). This is not only annoying to those trying to sleep nearby, but it will likely be detrimental to your teeth and supporting structures in your mouth. I’ve been a licensed dental hygienist for [...]
As we get older our bodies begin to decline. Years of wear and tear along with genetic factors begin to break down the body; your teeth are no exception. There are things you can do to preserve those pearly whites as long as possible. In fact, if you take good care of your teeth, you [...]
August 15th marks National Relaxation Day! In the very fast-paced society that we live in, stress is common (and normal in small doses), but no matter how much of a workaholic you are, everyone needs a break. That’s why they gave us a dedicated holiday telling us to “RELAX!!”. Check out these scientifically proven ways to [...]
In the past few years, the topic of ASMR has gained a considerable amount of attention. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. Those who experience ASMR report [...]
Bruxism is a condition where sufferers either clench or grind their teeth. This common behavior reportedly affects roughly 10% of people and as many as 15% of children. The severity of bruxism varies from person to person but symptoms include: hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, headaches, tooth wear, and chipped or flattened teeth. Bruxism can [...]
Everyone is familiar with the mental strains of stress but fewer recognize the physical impacts associated with stress. Like a lot mental health issues, stress can have serious implications for your body. Research has linked high levels of stress to: Insomnia or hypersomnia Fluctuations in appetite Decreased intimacy Heart attack and stroke High blood pressure Migraine headaches FatigueNight-time Grinding Most people [...]
The majority of what we identify as stress has to do with our mental health. The effects of stress on our mental well-being are some of the more distressing symptoms which are usually more difficult to cope with. Research has linked high levels of stress with: Depression Anxiety Anger issues Reduced productivity and satisfaction with work Decreased enjoyment in social activities Any [...]
Stress is an often overlooked aspect of life. Many people think the level of stress is just a fact of life that cannot be avoided. I am here to tell you that this is not the case. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. [...]
If you have ever struggled with night time grinding, I’m sure you’ve considered getting a night guard. There are a lot of factors that contribute to what night guard is right for you. People have different preferences and needs. Your research may have swayed you toward a custom dentist-made night guard, but you should consider [...]