For most teens, change constantly seems to be happening around them. Friend groups can shift, their goals and dreams alter and they don’t have much control over their growing bodies. But sometimes change comes in bigger, harsher waves, and it can be difficult for teens to cope. If your family or your teen is experiencing this feeling, here are some ways that you can support and guide them.
Understand the Power of Change
Many of us struggle to realize just how powerful change can be in our lives. When we feel established in a way of living or a way of thinking, shifting this can be very painful. Even positive changes can be challenging or stressful, but this does not mean that the change taking place is inherently negative. This is important to understand and to help your teen recognize. Even if change is challenging, this doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad.
Recognize the Struggle
As a parent, one extremely helpful thing you can do for your teen is simply address their concerns and their struggles. Don’t dismiss their anxiety. Instead, express that you recognize their stress and offer to help them work through a strategy or solution. Your teen needs support.
Create a New “Normal”
As your teen starts to recognize the reality of the change taking place around them, it can be helpful to begin to establish new routines and a new sense of “normal.” If possible, try to hold onto some practices that you used to do (ie: if you used to have a family dinner every Sunday before you moved, keep having this same family dinner). If this isn’t possible, start to build new ones (ie: Saturday morning walks together). While you don’t have to structure each moment of your teen’s life, it’s helpful for them to have some sort of regularity as they work through these adjustments.
When to Seek Help
If this struggle with change and transition perpetuates, there may be a deeper issue at hand. If this is the case, seek help from a mental health professional for suggestions and support.
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