Help Your Teen Bounce Back After Difficult Times
Resilience is necessary in all stages of life, but the earlier we learn it, the healthier we will grow over time. Helping your child to learn about resilience and progress towards practicing resilience more automatically is a task that parents often struggle with. This is, in part, due to the fact that we may not have learned those skills in childhood either. However, as a parent you have the power to foster healthy coping mechanisms in your kid as you are practicing them yourself.
The team of Chico mental health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions complied a list of five ways to boost your teen’s emotional resilience, to provide guidance when so many parents are trying to do it all on their own. If your teen is struggling, and you fear that they may be turning to substances or other unhealthy coping mechanisms, we offer adolescent behavioral health treatment that can help.
Building Resilience: You Can Help
Resilience requires self-respect, social skills, positive thinking habits and positive self-talk. Helping your child to learn these skills and acquire the self-awareness that they will need as they grow up is no easy feat. Below are 5 ways to boost your teen’s emotional resilience so that they can better cope when they have difficult times.
- Teach problem solving: Encourage your teen to problem solve and come to conclusions on his or her own, avoiding jumping in to fix things every time there is a problem. Encourage your teen to come up with a list of ideas or pros and cons to solve an issue, then discuss it with her/him. Ask questions that will help them come to a solution rather than giving immediate advice. When you are not present to offer immediate guidance, they will have a set of tools to rely on for themselves. What’s more: This encourages healthy dialogue and connection between you and your child, so they know they can share their concerns with you.
- Promote healthy risk taking: Do activities with your children that push them out of their comfort zone, such as encouraging them to try a new sport, volunteer for an event, befriend someone new or try a new activity such as learning an instrument. These things will help your child learn that they can handle challenges. It is important to balance your kid’s innate interests with new possibilities, so be sure to honor their current strengths and competencies even as you are introducing new opportunities for growth.
- Create a strong connection: Allow your child to communicate openly with you and to express emotions freely, even when they are not pleasant. Provide a safe space to talk things through so that they can release the feelings instead of holding them in. Plan for one-on-one time with your teen and leave all distractions, including smart phones, aside. When you express interest in the things that matter to your child, even things that seem mundane, they will feel safer to consult with you about the challenges and stressors they face.
- Allow for mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes, so allow your child to feel the sting of a mistake, or the punishment, but do not let it be the end of the world. Embrace the lessons and the chance to support your child through what might be a painful recovery, then help them to see that success is learning from failures. Once they have had a chance to process their emotions, support them in making a plan to respond to their mistakes. This affirms that they have the internal resources to address difficult experiences in their life head-on.
- Exercise: While expressing emotions verbally can be helpful, not all problems are solved by talking. Physical activity, be it team sports or anything that increases heart rate, helps to release chemicals in the brain that boost mood, confidence and resilience! Physical accomplishments are the building blocks that help support mental and emotional ones. If your child has an outlet to rely on when things get hard, especially something that promotes physical well-being, they can turn to this activity to decompress and regain balance.
We Understand and Our Team Can Help: (530) 899-3150
If your teen is struggling with negative self-talk, low self esteem or difficulty bouncing back from tough situations, it can be worrisome for parents. Our team of Chico mental health professionals understand how trying the teen years can be, and how challenging they are to navigate in the midst of mental health struggles. Our Adolescent Program is designed support you and your teen with positive, healthy techniques for dealing with teen life. It’s okay to ask for help, and your child’s future is worth it.
Contact our team to discuss your concerns about your teen today at (530) 899-3150.