Adolescence can be a risky period in terms of mental health. This is so because while the teenage brain is maturing, adolescents are also facing a lot of challenges and changes in a short period of time. Promoting good teenage mental health begins at home and a parent or guardian’s love and support goes a long way in affecting an adolescent’s mental well being.
Show love, affection, and care.
Life gets busy and as our kids get older, we tend to show affection less and less. However, despite their moods and complaints, your child needs love, affection, and care more than ever. Do not let their ever changing moods to dissuade you from showering them with love and attention. Always remind them that they are loved and that no matter what happens or how they feel, you will always be there for them.
Ask questions, listen to their stories, and no matter how busy life can get for you, do not try to be dismissive when they come up to you to share what is going on with the lives. Be genuinely interested in what interests them, ask about their social media activities, get to know their friends, and most importantly, notice their achievements, listen to their ideas, and be a listening ear when they fail or have a bad day at school. Do activities together as a family. Being involved in your child’s life will allow them to feel a sense of belonging and make them feel less isolated.
Talk about things.
There are days when it is easier to just simmer in our thoughts without talking about them. However, it is important for you and your child to develop a relationship that allows you to talk through your feelings instead of letting them fester in a way that always leads to a blow up. A healthy communication not only prevents this but also sets an example for your teen in seeing how important communication is.
Promote a holistic lifestyle.
A healthy life is one that is healthy holistically which includes the physical, mental, and spiritual aspect. Enjoy fun, physical activities with your adolescent while eating food that will nourish their bodies. Working on the spiritual aspect will also help your child go through the challenging seasons of life and this is one that you can discover together as a family.
Always be alert to changes in your teen. Always be alert to their moods, a change in friends, or if they’re staying in their room more often than usual. You must also be alert to changes in eating patterns or being hyper-aware of how they look. It is these little things that often tell the story of mental health challenges that the adolescent may go through. If your child’s symptoms or changes in behavior has started to escalate over time, do not be shy to seek help.
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