This is tough! Teens are struggling with their own losses, loss of graduation, loss if summer camps, loss of connection with their friends etc. On top of that being stuck all day with siblings and parents at a time in life when they are supposed to experimenting with independence, preparing for launching into young adulthood. Add to that stressed parents with “real life” worries such as finances, job security, health, family management, especially with everyone at home at once…ALL the time (or most of the time as we are opening up slowly)!
What can you do?
Our families at Mindful Healing who have been successful at this are those who are creative in how to meet each other’s needs. Drive-by birthday celebrations, a specially decorated basement, prom dress, and music experienced with close friends on Zoom, etc.
Parents who step can away from their own stresses and understand how real the losses and anxiety-creating uncertainty are to their teens, parents, in other words who can validate their teens’ feelings, help them understand they have loving support and are not alone. Validation is a key in all of this: reflecting not what is said, but what is meant; acknowledging how real that feeling if for your teen, not giving unsolicited advice or in any way, trying to “fix’ their feelings, learning to sit with your own discomfort in order for you to be patient and to allow your teen to be okay to sit with their pain and to tolerate it.
The best way parents can be in the frame of mind to help their teen is to develop routines for their own self-care. Learn meditation techniques- find an app that you like that can guide you; set time aside to be alone and regenerate, learn to tolerate your own feelings and find a place to compartmentalize your own fears and anxieties and any guilt you may feel over your teen’s suffering.
If you are struggling with how to best support your teen, click here to schedule a FREE parent consultation.