We all worry about things sometimes, and the worry can be positively harnessed to motivate us to accomplish good results. However, worry and anxiety can also hold us back.
For teens, dealing with feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming – especially with the pressures of changes, their peers, and school. As parents, we can do a lot to help our teenage kids. Let’s talk about some of the most important ways in which you can help your child reduce their anxiety.
1. Learn About Anxiety and Behavioral Health
One thing you can do is to understand anxiety yourself so that you know how to help your child without making things worse. Learn about generalized anxiety disorder and what to look out for in your teen’s behavior.
Make an effort to discover the causes of their worries. Observe if they have any triggers that you can deal with together.
2. Talk to Your Teen and Share Your Own Experiences
Always talk to your teen to understand their concerns, but make sure you don’t force them to talk. Tell them about things that used to make you anxious when you were their age, and how your parents (or other adults) helped you understand it and to get past it.
Don’t expect them to open up; let them do that at their own pacing and comfort level. You are modeling how to open up with others by opening up with them on a personal level. This will also help to foster trust between you two.
Don’t “gang up” on the child by talking to them along with the other parent, but rather talk to them one-on-one. Group-talk can happen naturally around the dinner table – but even there, be careful not to make the child feel pressured but rather supported in their positive behaviors.
3. Encourage Your Teen to Socialize in Healthy Ways
Remind your children not to let anxiety and worry close them off from the world. Reassure them that you, your family, and their friends are there to support them.
However, don’t force them into social situations if they appear uncomfortable with it. Teens who have social anxiety fear how others may judge them. Instead, encourage them to hang out with people they are comfortable around. Let them participate in activities they enjoy along with their friends or siblings.
4. Help Them Break the Cycle
Take the first steps and help your teen break the cycle; pull them aside when they become too stressed out. Have them take a walk with you, play a game, or cook a meal together. You can even help them with their homework if it is causing stress and frustration.
You can also have your teen do simple chores around the house to help build their confidence. Give them opportunities to handle tasks, and reward their efforts in return.
5. Guide Them Away from Harmful Habits and Promote Good Practices
Discourage destructive habits that can worsen their anxiety. Alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs contain chemicals that can cause them to feel worried, and explain this to the child.
However, instead of scolding your teen, it’s best to talk things through with your children. Talk to them with respect, and explain how these substances are harmful and worsen their anxiety.
If your child is socializing with others who are bad influences on them, talk to a medical professional about how this behavior can be reversed. Your teen may need counseling so they can see their situation from an outsider’s perspective.
6. Stick to the Treatment Plan
If your teen is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, help the child follow the prescribed treatment plan. A medical professional will have a deeper understanding of what methods can help your teen deal with their struggles. Behavioral health specialists are the best type of doctors to help your child overcome anxiety.
Behavioral Health Services in Sherman, Texas
Here at Carrus Children’s Behavioral Hospital, our team of behavioral health professionals is ready to help your teen. We all work as a team to develop a holistic, personalized treatment plan for our patients. We focus on helping your children improve and overcome the challenges they face.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at (903) 870-1202 or contact us now by filling out our online form. We look forward to giving you and your teen the support and tools you need to get past the anxiety and toward self-confidence.