Are You Worried About Your Teen’s Behavior Or Emotional Well Being?

Is your teen acting in ways or saying things that are causing you concern? Do you fear your child is struggling with anxiety or depression, abusing drugs or alcohol or engaging in other dangerous behavior? Perhaps your child is shutting you out, causing you to stress over what he or she might be doing without your knowledge. Or maybe you know that your child is struggling with something specific, but don’t know how to help. Are you stressed at work, afraid you’ll get a phone call about something that has happened to your teen? Do you wish you knew how to communicate and connect with your teen and ensure that he or she feel healthy, safe and successful? Do you just want to know how you can help your child?

These are many issues that many, if not most, parents of teens struggle with. There is nothing more difficult than worrying about your child and not knowing what you can do to help. You may fear for your child’s mental and physical safety, but feel confused as to what the best route to take is. Teen issues are very sensitive, and they must be dealt with accordingly.

Because the issues affecting many of today’s teens can be very complex, it can be difficult for teens to admit or even understand what they are experiencing. This leads to a feeling of frustration for parents. You may feel powerless—as if there’s nothing you can do to help your teen. Helping your child is your top priority, and you want to know how you can help. 

Many Teenagers Struggle With Emotional And Behavioral Challenges

Dealing with puberty, personal growth, navigating an increasingly challenging social life and trying to balance the stress of school and activities are not easy for any teenager. The teen years are very formative, and growing pains can be challenging to confront. Besides general development struggles, issues with anxiety, relationships and sexuality can greatly affect anyone of that age. And, whether or not your teen has a diagnosable disorder, he or she could still be going through a difficult time, especially if there has been a trauma, loss or significant life transition.

The teenage years are also the first major developmental stage in a child’s life where parental involvement is not a major focus. Your teen may feel the need to move away from you and find his or her identity.  This can lead to withdrawal and experimentation when it comes to personality traits and development. While this does help a teenager develop the skills he or she will need as an adult, the path to independence can feel like a challenge for parents. Furthermore, a teen’s brain is still developing. Full judgment and decision-making abilities do not fully develop until one’s early 20s, making it difficult for an adolescent facing with tough choices.

A major recent factor affecting teens is the integration of social media. As our culture has become more interested in social media, we have also become more detached. This has led to feelings of alienation, especially amongst teenagers. Suddenly, there is more pressure to show the world that your life is going well, even if it is not. This creates a need for validation and assurance, which can negatively affect teens. Additionally, this pressure can lead to body image and self-esteem issues. 

Along with the troubles that social media brings, cyber bullying is a newly developed issue we are seeing. Suddenly, fear of being harassed is no longer just associated with being at school. Teens are now vulnerable to harassment at home. Both the stresses of social media and cyber bullying can add more unneeded conflict to an already difficult time in your child’s life.

Teen Counseling Can Help Your Child

The teenage years can be extremely difficult for both parents and teens. Thankfully, teen counseling is a safe place to work through the variety of issues that affect today’s teens. Teen counseling offers your child a supportive and compassionate place to talk about what he or she is experiencing. Often, it is difficult for teenagers to open up about issues they are going through to their parents. Fear of punishment and judgment leaves them feeling vulnerable and unable to discuss certain topics. This can lead to many emotions being kept inside, which may cause feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety.

I can help your child explore his or her issues in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. In sessions, you child can open up about pressing feelings and concerns. Whether it is stress or substance abuse, talking about his or her issues in a non-threatening environment can help your child better understand him or herself and his or her experience in and of the world. This increased self-awareness can promote feelings of confidence, help him or her relax and increase self-esteem.

In teen counseling sessions, your child can also begin to better understand what he or she is going through emotionally. Together, your teen and I can explore what triggers certain emotions and discover ways to cope with challenging feelings. Understanding triggers and coping with them is a vital step in teen development. Learning these skills now can not only improve your child’s current experience, but they can also help him or her focus more on what values are truly important in the long run.

I can also teach your child healthy and effective conflict resolution and communication skills, which can help your child engage in relationships with both you and his or her peers and teachers. We can also collaborate on building self-worth and self-esteem, which can be the cornerstones of healthy teenage development.

While it is difficult to see your child struggle during this important period of growth, teen counseling can help. Giving your teen a nonjudgmental space where he or she feels safe is vital to healthy growth. With guidance and support, your teen can identify and explore the oftentimes challenging emotions that come with growing up. Your teen can also learn positive strategies and skills to work through the issues that he or she is experiencing, which can be helpful immediately and also serve your child as he or she enters into adulthood.

While you may understand the benefits of teen counseling, you still may have questions and concerns...

How do I know if what my teen is experiencing is normal teenage behavior or if something is really wrong?

It can be difficult to discern the underlying issues in a teenager’s life. What your child is experiencing may be normal behavior. However, it is better to be sure and know that your child is safe and healthy. This is an important developmental stage, and your child will most likely need help navigating it at one point or another. There is no harm in seeking therapy, as it can help your child greatly down the road.

I do not want my child to face the stigma involved with seeing a counselor.

No one has to know your child is seeing a counselor. Because of laws of confidentiality, no one will know that your child is seeing me unless you choose to disclose it. Additionally, countless teenagers seek therapy, and the stigma has been greatly reduced over time. As more and more people seek counseling for a variety of reasons, we realize it is a very important part of life and progress.

We are very busy. I’m not sure we can find a way to make teen counseling sessions.

Families with hardworking parents often find it difficult to make time for teen counseling. However, your teen’s mental health is very important. And, teen counseling can improve your child’s life immensely. I understand that so many families are busy which is why I offer late afternoon and evening appointments.

You don’t have to try to navigate this challenging time on your own. I invite you to call me at 704-659-6861 for a free 20-minute consultation. I’m happy to talk to you about your child’s needs and answer any questions about teen counseling and my practice.