With consistent care, love and attention is provided, children thrive and are able to move through their developmental stages towards independence.
The transition into adulthood is not an easy journey.
As parents today, to be on the lookout for signs and indications which require intervention is sadly required more than ever.
Your children/teenager may be experiencing some or any of the issues listed below,
• internet addiction
• self-harm behaviours - cutting, binge drinking, drugs, promiscuity
• bullying or cyber bullying
• suicidal thoughts or threats (suicidal ideation)
• anxiety and/or depression
Seeking independent professional help after informing school counsellors, could be the best and most prudent way to address problems and issues before they escalate.
There are particular signs to look out for as children become teenagers. Such signs include:
• abandoned old friends for new peers
• a sudden drop in school performance
• extreme and fluctuating mood swings
• changes in appearance, gaining or loss of weight
• lying or half truths about plans or their whereabouts
• mysterious financial changes, new possessions or missing money
• ceasing to communicate with you
• anti social behaviours
• anger at parental concern….harsh statements and changes in how you once communicated
Teenagers suffer depression, just like adults, but often lack the ability to recognise or articulate their feelings.
It is important to look out for some of the specific signs typically exhibited by teenagers with depression, including:
• Irritable or moody
• Truancy, skipping school
• Nervousness, signs of anxiety
• Bodily symptoms-headaches, stomach aches or heart racing
• Missing work or social activities
• Changes in eating habits
• Feeling tired
• Abusing drug or alcohol
It is imperative that teenagers or preteens have a safe environment to be listened to and that they get the professional care required to ensure that they are safe and to help them safely transition through adolescence or particular times of needs.
Establishing trust is key for the teenager to be able to confide in a counsellor and be assured they have complete confidentiality particularly in regard to their teachers, parents and friends.
A host of counselling strategies may be used to encourage communication such as role playing, art therapy, solutions focused therapies, CBT etc and will be tailored to suit the need of each individual.
For older teens engaging in senior studies relaxation techniques and adopting healthy coping and calming strategies and having a strong "mental health game plan" for tough times will be explored.
The ability for the teenager to self protect and manage their exposure to outside influences such as social media that will allow then to build resilience to not allow external forces to adversely affect their wellbeing and their own happiness.
Connectivity in today's world is necessary, but helping the individual not "let it run the show", and giving them their own boundaries and tools they can implement when connectivity becomes dysfunctional or all consuming is key.
At Good Counsel we will be running a series of Teenage Workshops in 2017 of topics of relevance for the teenagers in our Community...see Retreats/Workshop schedule for updates and booking.