Although the current times have brought stresses and challenges to everyone, for young people
there are particular issues they are facing.
The “normal” structure of their lives has disappeared. Many opportunities and positive things that they may have expected have simply not been possible.
As a result, many young people feel angry and cheated and don’t know what to do about these feelings.
Many have started acting out their feelings in negative ways they wouldn’t have in usual times.
For instance, we have worked with a teenage boy who vandalized a neighbor’s car which was something he would have not done before. His only explanation is he is “mad at the world”.
Another 15-year-old girl is crying all the time and can’t explain why.
A 16-year-old boy who goes to bed and won’t talk to anyone.
A 15-year-old girl developing anorexia because she doesn’t feel any control over her life.
Grades plummeting as a result of all the academic changes they’ve had to endure.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PARENTS:
Some words to use:
“I can see how hard this has been for you”
“I want to help you any way I can”
“My heart goes out to you”
Reassure them that you won’t be shocked or frightened by their feelings and thoughts and that they won’t be punished.
SOME THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAY
I know it’s difficult but I’m willing to listen to you try to put your feelings and thoughts into words. However hard it is, talking about it will help.
If it’s too hard to talk to me maybe we can find you someone else to talk to.
Because of the situation, we are all in, it may be hard to know what to say, keep in mind that you don’t have to say anything but just let your teen know you are there to support and be available to them, maybe enough.
DO NOT HESITATE TO SEEK OUT A PROFESSIONAL FOR ADVICE AND GUIDANCE