Mental health is becoming a valid concern for many people. It has affected not only adults but young people as well. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 44% of teens are consistently dealing with feelings of sadness and despair in the first half of 2021.
Another report released in 2022 showed that almost 20% had contemplated suicide while 9% had attempted it. Now, there could be many factors that could play a role, but the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a likely contributor. But the figures surrounding teen mental health have been on the rise over the decade.
Although there are various reasons for this, one factor is often overlooked; the role of parents in preventing teen mental health issues. If you are a parent of a young teen, then you might want to read this article.
Important Role of the Caregiver
Whether you are the parent, guardian, or foster parent, it is important to understand your role in the probability of the outcome of your child’s mental health treatment. Science has established a definitive link between the caregiver’s participation and the teen’s mental health problems.
This is because the caregiver is the person who the teens interact with the most throughout the day, and they are in the perfect position to model and cultivate coping mechanisms.
Despite this, mental health experts struggle to integrate parents into the treatment for teens mainly because there is a huge gap between their age, their perspective, their expectations for their children, and their goals.
Apart from that, another limitation comes from the consent and privacy laws where the mental health professional is unable to disclose certain information about the teen to their caregivers.
Not an Easy Time
Parents often dread the teenage years because this is the time when your little ones are dabbling between independence, freedom, and the comfort of having the safety net of parents. It is often coupled with anticipating mood swings, arguments, and risky behavior.
This is because, at this time, they are stepping into their real identities and asserting their autonomy, which could cause tension and hostility, resulting in a lower-quality relationship between the teen and the parent.
While they are dealing with all that mentally, they are also dealing with a lot of things physically, such as sleep deprivation and hormonal changes. This makes teens easily stressed out and sensitive to the triggers around them.
You, the Parent
As a parent, your duty is to take into account all these changes and be mentally prepared to deal with an angsty teen who might not know how to cope with their feelings properly.
You, being the parent, have to understand that most of the time, children want your blind trust and to know the fact that you are there for them no matter what. Your constant reassurance can provide them with a safe space to always return to when they are dealing with a lot.
Here’s to becoming healthy not just physically but mentally as well.