Christine's Corner: Supporting Our Youth In Times of Anxiety
Teenage years are ones that can be riddled with anxiety, uncertainty, and chaos, whether there is a pandemic going on or not. And especially in these times, our children and youth deal with all of the above exponentially! So how can we as parents, guardians, teachers and supporters help our youth come to terms with their anxiety and the state that they find themselves in daily? Here are some helpful ideas that you can read more about in the article Supporting Young People When They're Suffering by Aaron Rosales and found at the Fuller Youth Institute website.
Be A Role Model-it helps to acknowledge your own hardships and ups and downs. Model for your youth how to talk about your mental health and getting help when you need it.
Listen For Emotion-hearing what your youth is saying is important, but hearing what is being said between the lines can be crucial to helping your youth acknowledge their feelings.
Don't Force It-allow your youth to speak on his/her/their own terms. Do not force the conversation. They will talk when they are ready and comfortable.
Listen, Don't Fix-what your youth needs is for you to listen and try not to fix it, unless they ask you for suggestions. They just need to know that someone hears them.
When doing these steps, know that you are not alone in this process. And if your youth shows signs of mental disorder, there are a number of counselors that can help them on their journey. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
The Fuller Youth Institute has a great podcast series called Faith in an Anxious World Parenting Podcast. This has some more helpful ideas on how to deal with anxiety and hurt from a faith perspective.
And always know, that if you ever need help as a parent on where to go and what to do to help your youth, you can come to me. And if I don't have the answer, we will work together to find one.
Peace and Love for the Journey