As parents, we play an important role in our children’s lives. We are their protectors and guides, but our roles are not limited to these duties alone. Parents can also play a key role in the prevention and treatment of teen mental health problems.
Mental health problems are increasingly common among teens today, with 1 in 5 teens experiencing mental health challenges. It is important for parents to be aware of these issues and how they can help their children address them.
Be Open With Them
One of the best ways that parents can play a role in preventing or treating teen mental health problems is by being open and willing to talk about their child’s feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
By creating an environment where it’s okay to talk about difficult topics like anxiety or depression, you can help your child feel safe enough to communicate their experiences to you. When your child opens up to you about their struggles, make sure to listen without judgment and offer support as needed.
Prioritize Physical Safety
In addition to providing emotional safety at home, parents should prioritize physical safety by setting rules around activities such as drug use or alcohol consumption. These rules should be enforced consistently but not overly rigidly to not put too much stress on your teen due to feeling overly controlled.
Understanding when leniency is appropriate can go a long way in keeping your teen emotionally healthy while still enforcing expectations on behaviors that could lead to dangerous situations like drug use or drinking alcohol underage.
Take Interest in the Child’s Life
Parents should also take an active interest in their child’s social life by getting familiar with the people they hang out with outside of school or other organized activities.
Parents should get familiar with the people their children spend time with – this includes knowing who their friends are and making sure there are no obvious signs of substance abuse or bullying present within those circles – because having a positive social circle has been shown to have positive effects on one’s mental health overall.
Learn to Act Quickly
Finally, parents must learn how to recognize signs that their child may be dealing with mental health issues so they can act quickly if needed. Some common signs include:
– Frequent crying spells
– Withdrawal from family activities
– Changes in sleeping patterns
– Abrupt shifts in mood
– Eating more/less than normal
– Difficulty concentrating
– Sudden changes in friendships
– Persistent feelings of sadness/hopelessness
– Drastic changes in school performance
– Becoming easily irritated/angry, etc.
By following the tips outlined above, parents can play an important role in both preventing & treating teen mental health problems.
This includes talking openly with your teen about mental health-related topics, ensuring physical & emotional safety within the home environment, monitoring social circles & learning how to recognize signs & symptoms.