I learned a valuable lesson this week. My teenaged daughter was struggling with something that was tapping in to her anxiety. On Monday morning she called me to her room to let me know that she wasn’t feeling well enough to go to school. She acknowledged that the illness was likely grounded in anxiety, and she requested to stay home from school to work through it and get back on track.
How do we keep our children safe physically, emotionally and psychologically? Up until about a year ago, I thought I had this pretty much figured out. My strategy was to keep my children safe by staying one step ahead of the “dangers” that came in to their world. I modeled strength, security, and invulnerability with the idea that, no matter how scary things got, my kids would know I had them covered and they need not be afraid.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown talks about the Rage to Blame cycle parents often find themselves in when dealing with their children. Our children do something, we become angry, we blame them for our anger and discomfort, we impose consequences. Here, though, is the part that really connected for me. We find ourselves too tired and busy to follow through on the consequences we've imposed. That certainly was familiar!
This week I’m reflecting on my experience employing Active Listening with my children. When I initially considered this topic I thought, “Well, this is easy. I’ve been teaching adults the skills of active listening for years. I’ve got this for sure!” Then I started paying attention to my interactions with my kids, and I remembered the old saying, “The shoemaker’s children have no shoes.”
When I began my training as a parent coach in January 2018, one of the first assignments was to set intentions for myself and my children. I was asked to consider what I was looking for in my personal transformation as a parent, and what I would like my children to receive and integrate for themselves. With some time and experience under my belt, I thought I’d look back at those intentions to see whether they resonate today.
Given the twists and turns of life, there’s a good chance that each of us will deal with depression to some degree. Yet, when a teen’s feelings of hopelessness and despair take over, interrupting their daily activities and relationships, providing support for them is critical.
While a quick study on suicide ideation, or suicidal thoughts, reveals that most individuals will not follow through with the act of killing themselves, entertaining thoughts on suicide should always be taken seriously. While depression (untreated) and/or drug abuse is often at the root of suicidal thoughts in teens, it’s wise to understand how the idea of suicide is classified professionally.
If you’re reading the title of this blog, and you have no idea what a fidget spinner or cube is, please read on! If you don’t read about it here, you’ll hear about it from your child soon enough.
On the heels of the Outward Bound programs that made their way to the United States decades ago, wilderness education became part of therapeutic treatment after noticeable psychological and emotional benefits were observed. In turn, the 20th century has continued to provide wilderness education with dozens of programs treating adolescents with substance abuse to teens with behavioral concerns.
For families reeling from the impact of their child’s anxiety, depression, or addiction, the road to recovery and eventual stabilization can be a bumpy one, filled with complexities and misunderstandings. While some children benefit from counseling or behavioral therapy alone, others enter a treatment facility or specialized program away from home. Thus, if your child is transitioning home after treatment, it’s vital for you to be prepared.