It is important to acknowledge how many changes your teenager is going through, both physically and emotionally. Teenagers’ bodies are developing quickly, and their hormones are literally taking over their emotions. More often than not, becoming a teenager also includes new social pressures, new friends, and an unfamiliar situational context. All of these things could cause any teenager to become more emotionally fragile and sensitive. If you notice depression is a problem with your teen, consider the following suggestions.
- Don’t always offer a quick solution when your teenager expresses a form of depression: Sometimes a teenager just needs someone to listen to him. However, this does not mean that you need to solve his problem. Allow your child to come to a practical solution himself, but also help him realize that there may not actually be a solid solution.
- Don’t become frustrated: It might be easy for you to become frustrated with your teenager, but this will lead to her avoiding you when she is experiencing any problems. Respect her wishes, even if that means leaving her alone for a few hours.
- Don’t pretend to understand everything that your teenager is going through: There may be times when you don’t understand why your teenager is bothered by something that seems insignificant to you, but do not pretend to understand. He will see through your responses if they are not sincere, and his trust could be hard to regain.
- Don’t present an argument when a teenager is irritable: When your teen walks through the front door already upset, it is probably not the best time to remind her of her undone chores. She will be more open if you allow her some time to cool down.
- Allow your sensitive teen some room: It is not an effective technique to force yourself upon your teenager because he will more than likely reject your advice. He needs time to determine what it is that is bothering him before he presents you with the problem.
- Be available: Be there to talk to, and listen. You may not do more than peacefully listen, but that may be all she needs.
- Allow your teenager to express any emotions: Do not overreact when you witness your child crying. In fact, a release of emotions is probably one of the greatest remedies. Boys and girls alike have a large amount of unexpressed emotions, so when they allow you to witness their emotions, be respectful.
- Seek professional assistance if necessary: Seeking help does not need to be a scary or degrading thing. It is more important that you realize there is nothing you can do as a parent if serious depression has set in to help your teen feel good about him- or herself.
McMahon, T. Teen Tips
Elkind, D. Parenting Your Teenager
Steinberg, L., and J. Belsky. Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence