Is your teen walking around with his or her head down, kind of defeated, but not really communicating what’s wrong?
We can all probably remember being in situations where we had really big emotions but not been able to express them. Some parents in this situation might be tempted to take a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get going” kind of attitude with their kid. If your child is in this kind of situation though, he or she is probably not in the “able to receive advice column.” Rather, they need emotional support.
The truth is, the vast majority of the time, kids want to talk.
As a parent, the best thing you can do is keep your listening ears open and keep your mouth shut. When your teen starts talking, try to make them feel safe to have the conversation, and try to keep them talking. Don’t blame, shame or try to give advice. If you can’t get your kid to talk, try to get them to therapy. Creating a safe place for teens to put a name on their feelings is what we do.
Therapy Creates A Safe Place to Explore Emotions
If your teen isn’t communicating but clearly suffering, it’s something you as a parent should be concerned about. If you don’t take some kind of action it could lead to worse things like drugs, alcohol or self harm. Exploring what he’s feeling therapy can help him identify and explore what he’s feeling and express it in a healthier way.
Here’s this week’s Tips on Teens question:
“Help please! My 16 year old son rarely makes eye contact or speaks loud enough to hear him. He keeps his head down and walks rigid like he is in fight or flight mode. When I notice him seeming sad I ask him to try to name or describe what he is feeling and he always says i don’t know how to describe it. I’m concerned if he doesn’t get help he’ll live a very uncomfortable life having low self esteem. What can a concerned Mom do to start the process of getting him help?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.