3 Tips for Helping Your Adolescent Through Anxiety
Encourage Action Over Avoidance
As a parent, you are usually able to tell the difference between a true stomach virus or a tummy ache caused by nerves. Some days, you may be willing to indulge the nonverbal pleas of our children who want to avoid a certain activity or person. However, at the right time, you can approach them with a loving tone, ask them what is really going on and how you can help. Then, you can encourage them to take action themselves.
Anxiety can feel overwhelming, debilitating, and intimidating to an adolescent. If you notice that your child is in a state of avoidance due to their anxiety, you need to help them take a healthy approach. Encourage action over avoidance, reminding your adolescent they are capable of taking actionable steps to confront their fears and challenges.
Take Caution with Codependency
When your child is sick and struggling, you may want to take care of them, nurture them, and sometimes coddle them. The experience of mental illness in adolescents can be transient, or it can be a lifetime challenge over which they will have to persevere. Like snipping open the cocoon of a budding butterfly, you can inhibit your children's natural strength when we overstep your boundaries. It is important to differentiate between what your responsibility is and what is the responsibility of our child.
Reduce Your (Overly High) Expectations
In your heart of hearts as a parent, you want nothing but the best for your children because you know that they are capable of the best. You face a struggle as a parent to remain present with your children. You also witness their unique progressive growth one moment at a time. As a result, you may worry about their future and want to build their minds and spirits to the best of your abilities. In doing so, you can create expectations for yourself and your children that become extremely high-pressure.
Adolescents, meanwhile, are trying to live their lives in the innocence and freedom of childhood. At the same time, however, they're preparing for the responsibilities of adulthood. Too much pressure from you as a parent can sometimes worsen their anxieties. Therefore, it's essential to be sensitive to the way your expectations are defined and communicated.
Seek Support at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center
Anxiety is commonly co-occurring with drug and alcohol abuse. If your adolescent is struggling with anxiety, help is available. Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers primary residential treatment and academic support, providing life cleansing programs to build a foundation of hope in recovery. We provide a range of therapeutic treatment programs for each teen. Furthermore, because we know that each teen's situation is different, we also modify each boy's treatment options. Our therapeutic options include:
- Adventure and nature therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy