How to support your teenager through a crisis

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Whether it’s a broken heart or something much more complex, the adolescent years are when we suddenly are able to feel and experience strong emotions. A teenager going through a crisis is much different from a child or adult experiencing a time of difficulty. Emotions are much more lucid and often much more hard to endure. As a parent, it can be frustrating to witness a teenager going through a crisis; this may be in part down to their behavior in response to the problem or as a result of not knowing what to do. 

Listen carefully 

It will probably have already occurred to you that you will need to listen to your teenager carefully in order to find out what is troubling them. However, it is crucial to listen to their problems carefully and affectionately. While they might seem insignificant to you, this is very real to them. If you think the problem has been blown significantly out of proportion, try and ask them to reflect on other possibilities. It is also helpful to let them know that what they are feeling is completely normal and that it is okay to feel the way that they do. 

Don’t be reactive 

Keeping a cool head can be hard in the face of a reactive and emotional teenager. However, if they are being problematic and volatile, it is important that you are not responsive to it. Try not to make their outbursts your personal problem. Instead, try to acknowledge them and say you will respond when they are calm. 

Ask for help

Sometimes, more professional techniques are needed to settle a troublesome issue. Therapies such as CBT can be used to contain aggressive outbursts and encourage young people to think more carefully about how they are feeling. Specialist care centers can be found at igniteteentreatment.com, which provides individual care and services. 

Don’t be dismissive 

Many parents have a common misconception about depression and anxiety when it comes to teenagers: How can someone with such little life experience be depressed? It is very important to remember that experience does not necessarily equate to the complexity of emotion. Just because your child is at the very beginning of their life does not mean they are not capable of developing a psychiatric condition or experiencing painful emotion. 

Be persistent 

Communicating with your teenager through a crisis may be more difficult than you initially suspected. If they react aggressively or are incredibly resistant to help try not to utter phrases like ‘I give up’ or ‘Why don’t you want my help?’ Try and remain calm, gentle, and persistent. Your support will be acknowledged; it may just be a case of waiting for it be accepted. 

Supporting a teenager through a crisis certainly won’t be as simple to navigate as with a small child or as intuitive as with an older adult. The fluctuation of hormones and emotion can make it hard to come to reasonable agreements on what course of action to take. However, by listening, supporting, and pragmatic, you will be giving your child the best possible chance at succeeding in recovery.