It is hard to distinguish between “I can’t” and “I won’t” when your teen seems to have no energy to get up, to shower, to pick up their stuff, to do their homework and engage in other life skills that are as easy to us as breathing. To top it off, when there is something fun to do, like go out with a friend, they seem to perk up for a bit and actually manage to have a good time only to return home tired, depressed, and lethargic.
There are warning signs that may help you identify when your teen’s avoidance is a sign of something bigger going on.
Sudden change in behavior: Your once energetic, outgoing teen is suddenly isolating themselves and seems to have no energy. Grades start to fall, absenteeism increases.
Anger: Your teen may be angrier even when you ask a simple question that shouldn’t trigger such a response. Anger is part of depression and often a depressed teen feels alone, misunderstood- especially by a parent and worse, invalidated, because your concern is often expressed by addressing the behavior, the symptom and not the underlying emotion.
Overwhelm: Your teen starts to feel like small things are all too much for them. “I can’t do it.” “I might as well give up.” You notice that your once motivated teen feels easily discouraged.
This avoidance and change in behavior turns to anxiety and self-criticism that only reinforces their negative beliefs about themselves.
The truth is it doesn’t have to be this way. Perfectionism and procrastination are NOT signs of low motivation. It is not that your teen doesn’t care about chores, grades, family time, and more.
Research shows that it is an issue of emotion regulation. Your teen AVOIDS the emotions that come with doing the work.
Now that you know what the problem is let us tell you how we can help:
Teen DBT Group will help you teen learn to:
✅ Recognize procrastination thoughts and stop the cycle before it starts
✅ Manage feelings of overwhelm, depression, and anxiety so they can enjoy life and have fun while still meeting their responsibilities
✅ Have a proven technique for decreasing the “I’m not good enough” thoughts and improving self-worth
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/dbt-therapy