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Welcome back to Episode #10
Today’s episode is short and sweet.
And I’m doing something I’ve never done before.
I’m bypassing the originally scheduled podcast for a couple reasons.
First of all, it’s been a tough couple weeks for most teenagers.
My clients, their families, our friends, my family … no one is immune from covid fatigue.
And as much as I’m ready to deliver some good news, I feel the need to share something with you that’s incredibly important and especially relevant right now.
Honestly, it hurts my heart that we even have to talk about this, but as I was making dinner the other night, the nightly news was playing in the background.
And, my ears perked up when I heard them talking about the suicide of a young boy and I immediately recognized the father’s voice.
It’s a heart wrenching video that’s had over a hundred million views – so maybe you’ve seen it, too?
Not only did it catch my attention, but the statistics that followed, really pulled on my parental heart strings.
Now, as a parent of teenagers, I can certainly understand that it’s tough to know what’s “developmentally normal” because of the nature of the adolescent landscape.
- intense feelings
- hormonal fluctuations
- and all the other mental and emotional rites of passage
can definitely make it feel like a guessing game sometimes.
However, NOW, more than ever, I want to encourage you to keep a keen eye on your teenager and not dismiss the ups and downs as “just a stage.”
And here’s why…the statistics from the NBC nightly news on Tuesday, November 17th stated that “11 to 17-year-old’s have been more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression during the pandemic.”
This is tough stuff for teenagers and parents.
So, if there was ever a time to have those hard conversations about anxiety, disappointment, sadness, suicide, or self-harm, it’s now.
And, if you’re like most parents, it can be really challenging to know HOW to have one of those tough conversations.
So, I’d like to invite you to give these 3 Easy Conversation Starters a try so you can help your daughter stay afloat during the covid-19 pandemic.
Before you get started, please keep these conversation points in mind.
The most important thing is, you’re there to learn, so active listening is key.
And what I mean by that is, seek to understand before trying to be understood.
Actually, a strategy I use often is to repeat back what you’re hearing so you know you’re “getting” what’s being said.
Lastly, remember that blame and shame aren’t invited to this gathering, so create an environment that feels good and safe for both of you.
Okay, the first Conversation Starter question is:
- When you think about everything that covid has changed for you, what’s the hardest or weirdest thing?
The second question is:
- What do your friends think about what’s going on?
The third question is:
- If you could change anything in your life right now, what would it be?
Of course, it’s ideal to have an in-person conversation, though it’s not always realistic.
And sometimes it may be easier to bring things up or get things started via text or an emailed note.
Just find what works for you.
And if you’re just not comfortable with this or just not sure what’s going on with your teenager, that’s okay.
You’re definitely not alone.
But DO find someone who can help and support you.
There are so many amazing helping professionals out there.
So find someone that you feel good talking to.
Lastly, according to the experts at the Child Mind Institute, things you’ll want to be aware of are:
- behavioral and personality changes
- angsty, irritable or withdrawn behavior
- or if your teen talks about dying or death
As we move into the holidays, especially the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, I want to say Thank You!
I’m so grateful to each and every one of you for listening every week and sharing this podcast with your friends and family.
Please take extra good care of yourself and one another.
I look forward to connecting with you next week so we can help your daughter create the life she craves and deserves.
Lastly, you’ll find the links to everything I referenced today in the show notes on my website, https://cultivatingresilientteens.com/
Here’s to a beautiful and safe Thanksgiving!
NBC Nightly News Broadcast | 11.17.2020 | America Under Pressure Series
Hidden Teen Depression Crisis Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
Source: Child Mind Institute
Source: Mental Health America / October 2020
Hayden’s Corner – a nonprofit aimed at helping parents navigate mental health challenges
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Or Text GO to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor through Crisis Text Line, a global not-for-profit organization. Free 24/7, confidential.