When your teen is struggling—whether it’s academically, socially, emotionally or physically—it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Remember that this is a tough time not only for your teen, but for you as well, so take the proper steps to make sure you both receive the support you need.
Build Your Teen’s Support System
If your teen is struggling, it’s extremely important to get them the appropriate support they need. If it’s academic or socially related, try contacting some of their teachers to get a better understanding of the situation. If they are lacking general guidance and appear to be making poor decisions, try encouraging a relationship with a mentor whom they trust.
The problem might go beyond the classroom or the school grounds, however. If you suspect your teen is struggling with a mental health condition, it’s critical to recognize that you cannot solve this problem on your own. Instead, you should speak to a mental health professional for guidance.
Depending on the seriousness of your teen’s struggles, there are many different options for treatment and support. No matter whether you feel like the problem is small or large, talk to your teen and try to figure out the best way to move forward.
Build Your Own Support System
This may seem counter-intuitive when your teen is struggling, but it’s very important for you to find support networks for yourself as well as for them. Your teen’s actions affect you, and you have to support yourself so that you can better take care of them in the long run. But where can you turn? What options are available for you as a parent?
A parenting support group can provide a lot of comfort, hope, a feeling of being understood, perspective and likely some very good advice. Relating to others who are going through the same experiences will lend you some perspective as to your own situation too. Talk to your teen’s health provider (whether it’s physical or mental) to get some ideas of where you can look for such a support network. You can also try searching online or contacting a mental health agency.
Parenting a troubled teen can put a lot of emotional stress and anxiety on your shoulders, so you might want to consider attending your own therapy sessions. Contact a local mental health professional to understand your options.
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