Most parents aren’t given a handbook in how to teach their children emotional health. Heck, most ADULTS, parents or not, struggle with recognizing their emotions and processing them in a healthy way! Today Felicia Baratz shares with us some information in how to help your child emotionally.
You look into the eyes of your teenage daughter and don’t recognize the young woman you see. The hugs, kisses and chats you shared just a few short years ago have turned into fits of rage or emotional withdrawal. Your teen son is also acting strangely, and you suspect he might be “up to no good.”
While their behavior is troubling, it may also be destructive and dangerous to them and others. Instead of sitting by helplessly, find solutions that help them deal with the changes they are experiencing in their physical, social and emotional lives.
Teen hormones do play a role in the behavioral changes your child exhibits. Understanding your daughter’s monthly cycle and the effects of testosterone on your son’s moods gives you clues to the physical changes that affect your child’s behavior.
Understanding Your Child’s Emotional Health Needs
Unfortunately, hormones are not always the source of your child’s emotional difficulties. Challenging circumstances or changes in your child’s life play a major role in his or her behavior and mental health. Bullying, a romantic break up, parental divorce or separation, death of a loved one, or an academic disappointment potentially affects your child’s choices and self-worth.
Facing these challenges, your child may act out instead of expressing emotions with words. He or she may start smoking, drinking, stealing, performing poorly in school, or withdrawing emotionally. From a physical standpoint, your child may be experiencing weight changes, exhibiting eating disorders or experiencing depression. These and other destructive behaviors symbolize your child’s inner frustrations.
Watching your child behave badly can cause you to assign punishments or criticize the behavior. Instead, remain sensitive to your child’s emotional needs as you monitor changes in your teen’s life. You won’t be able to protect your child completely from life’s dramas and traumas. In fact, teens learn from these experiences.
However, they do not yet have the emotional maturity needed to navigate these changes. You must help your child find his or her voice during the teen years.
Get Involved in Weighing Options
Consider several proactive procedures that help your teen understand and cope with life. In cases, your child may benefit from nutrition counseling or a complete medical physical. Pursue a hobby together or commit to eating meals together. You may need to attend professional counseling or family therapy if communication is impossible.
A Change for the Better
Under some circumstances, remaining in an environment that is problematic for one reason or another poses a barrier to recovery. A new school, activity or hobby can give your teen an outlet for emotions. While one or more of these options might work for your child, he or she is not a one-size-fits-all teen.
For many children, therapeutic boarding schools provide children with counseling, love and mentoring. As your child escapes the pressures of daily life, he or she discovers the sources of the emotional frustrations and learns to handle life’s circumstances in a healthy way.
The behavior changes your teen exhibits can range from mild to severe. Attempt to keep communication lines open and provide a safe, secure home environment. If these actions don’t help, consider alternatives. Your teen needs love, and changing their environment can be the most loving thing you can do for your child. Remember that you are the parent, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in giving your child the tools he or she needs for emotional well-being.
About the Author
Felicia Baratz is a writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a writer for doseofmyown.com, she specializes in articles about health and nutrition.
Wow, I’ve always said that being a parent would be the toughest job in the world. They have SO many needs as they grow into adulthood! Please, help us all and share a few tips in how you constructively deal with your emotions.