Your happy-go-lucky child has turned into an anxiety-ridden teen. It is a painful thing to watch. Activities that were once enjoyable are now avoided. Getting to school is a miracle. Instead of driving to the mall, you are driving to the doctors with many complaints and issues.
Teen anxiety is not only debilitating for your teen, it is debilitating for the whole family. So how do you make this nightmare go away? How do parents help with teen anxiety? You can start off learning what not to do – and then go from there.
Here are 5 common mistakes I see good parents making…
Accommodating their teen’s anxiety.
Parents feel bad for their kids. They don’t want anxiety for their kids and they want to make it go away. And so they help them to do just that.
Their kids don’t want to attend classes or go to school – They switch them to online schooling or let them skip all together.
Their kids don’t want to sleep alone. They give them a permanent spot in their bed.
Their kids are afraid to do new things. They never push them out of their comfort zone.
Helping kids with teen anxiety is a balancing act. You don’t want to push your teens too hard, but you don’t want to not encourage this “fear based” behavior.
Help your child develop coping strategies and then encourage them to slowly fight back!
Forcing Teens to Face Their Fears Too Soon
The flip side – there are parents who are too pushy… They hate to see their teens suffer, so they force them to face their fears. The intention is good, but the delivery is bad.
Parents believe they can strong arm their teens to face their fears and that will “get them over it.” and it doesn’t Unfortunately teen anxiety doesn’t work that way. Forcing teens to do things that they are not ready to do can backfire.
Accommodating their fears is not helpful, but too much pushing can have a similar effect. They can both stop any progress from occurring. Small challenges add up to big results.
Putting too much pressure on fixing anxiety.
Unfortunately this is a battle you cannot fight for them. When you fight teen anxiety harder than your teens you do two things. You make them hide their anxiety – which is the opposite of what you want to do. And second, you make them feel overwhelmed. When this happens, many teens just give up.
This is your teen’s battle, not yours. Be a supportive passenger. You are not the driver.
Believing their teen is manipulating them.
I meet many parents who completely believe their teens are using anxiety as an excuse. I hear things like, “He is just lazy and doesn’t want to go to school” Most teens are embarrassed to have teen anxiety and would do anything to NOT have this problem.
When you view your teen’s anxiety as manipulation you are going to parent it with discipline and annoyance – both of which will exacerbate the issue.
Having misperceptions of anxiety.
I often hear parents say things like, “I don’t understand why she is afraid of that – nothing bad has ever happened to her?” Parents rack their brains with questions like “Is he being bullied?” And “Did she go through a trauma we don’t know about?” Usually, the answer is – no.
children just like adults can learn skills to overcome their anxiety. Using NLP tools as well as Time Line Therapy can be very effective.
So now that you know what not to do – what should you do? Arm your teen with coping mechanisms. Take them to a therapist that can help them build these skills. Give your child support and encouragement, that they are in charge of their mind, their thoughts and can will help and learning – they can choose different thought patterns to help them cope and thrive.
Help your teen with these steps:
1. Identify the anxiety triggers
2. Teach them coping skills to face their anxiety
3. Set up small challenges to help them face their fears which will give them small win’s
4. Have them learn about themselves, their brains/thoughts and how it all relates to how they feel and their behavior. NLP can teach them this…
If you are looking for someone to work with your child who is experiencing anxiety/depression, please reach out and schedule a consultation.
The good news: Anxiety can be successfully managed!
Parents play an essential role in helping their child or teen manage anxiety. When coping skills and brave behavior is rewarded and practiced in the home, children and teens can learn to face their fears, take reasonable risks, and ultimately gain confidence. Anxiety starts with our thoughts and focus. What is your child thinking about or focusing on? Likely something that they don’t want to have happen.
I teach parents and their children how to cope and deal with anxiety once and for all. I use NLP Coaching, and Time Line Therapy to teach kids and adults alike on how to go into their future time line to get rid of their anxiety… It usually only takes 2 to 4 sessions! If you would like to book a consultation and learn more, please reach out.
Lynn Thier will get you there ~ with practical cutting edge methods for making positive shifts, change and performance. Owner of Results Coaching, Consulting & Training, Lynn teaches and consults on how to make change happen. Lynn offers seminars, training’s and programs. Lynn also works with individuals suffering with mental health issues such as Anxiety, Depression & Trauma. Connect today ~ www.lynnthier.com