How is Covid-19 and online learning affecting our teens? Teens are suffering from more stress and anxiety while learning from home. Empower Counseling is a Birmingham area counseling clinic, here to help your teen with pandemic struggles.
According to NBC News, teens are suffering from more anxiety than ever, due to Covid-19 and online learning.
Our female students are twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues due to stress.
Over 50% of students state their level of anxiety about college have increased.
Students report that less than half of their teachers understand what their lives are like right now-there challenges beyond school.
Almost half of the students report a decrease in strength of their relationships with friends and teachers.
High school is a period in a child’s life when connection to peers is one of their highest priorities, their greatest need. It is a time when teens should be pulling away from parents, moving toward relationships with peers, and becoming more independent.
During this pandemic, teens are stuck, unable to do many of the things they are meant to do in their specific stage of development. This can lead to frustration, anxiety and depression. A year is a long time for a teen. At this point in the pandemic it is easy for any teen to haver the thought, “things will never be normal again” which can cause them to lose hope about the future, on top of the stress and anxiety of the moment. So what can we do to support our teens and their mental health in this particularly tough time?
1. Support without micro-managing:
Sometimes this can be hard for parents to do. I get it. We all want our kids to be happy and to succeed. But teens need the space to make mistakes and resolve them on their own. This is how they learn to be capable adults. If we hover over them to make sure they are doing every little thing correctly, they will think that you do not trust that they can accomplish anything on their own.
So instead of telling your teen constantly what he or she should be doing, ask, “What do you need from me?” And “How can I support you right now?”. If your teen is struggling or needs help, he or she will be much more likely to ask if they are approached in this manner. If your teens’ stress and anxiety while learning from home is increasing and your child wants to see a counselor, reach out for teen counseling with Empower Counseling, serving the Birmingham area, including Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, and Hoover.
2. Watch for signs of anxiety and depression.
Now, I know I just said not to micro-manage, but do pay attention. Watch your teens habits. If you begin seeing distinct changes in behavior like:
Isolating in room all of the time.
Change in appetite
Change in Mood
Lack of enjoying anything your teen used to enjoy
Change in sleep habits…
It is time to step in and have a conversation with your teen about how he or she is feeling. It might even be time to seek professional help. Teens want their parents to be there for them to offer unconditional love and acceptance but not necessarily to help them solve all of their problems. Sometime it is easier to talk to a licensed counselor about their problems.
3. Help teens see shades of grey.
It is easy for teens to get stuck in all or nothing thinking. An example of all or nothing thinking is, “My life will never be normal again” or “There is nothing to look forward to”.
Help your teen see shades of grey by offering proof that these statements are not true, in a loving way. Start a conversation about what the teen can still do, rather than what he/she can’t do right now. Help plan events for your teen to look forward to in the future. Find ways to help your teen make the connections to others that your child truly craves. An example would be to have a few friends over outside, and distanced, for a bon fire that they can sit around, talk, and drink hot chocolate.
If you need help, Empower Counseling is here for you and your teen. Kathryn specializes in counseling teens with anxiety and helping them through difficult transitions.
Empower counseling offers several other services in our Birmingham, Alabama counseling clinic, convenient to Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover and downtown Birmingham.. Kathryn is advanced trained in ACT, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and offers counseling for college students at Samford, Birmingham-Southern, Auburn University and the University of Alabama, online or in-person. Empower Counseling also offers counseling for young adults, and professionals, as well as teen counseling. Clients come to empower for help with their depression, perfectionism and difficult life transitions.
Reach out to Empower Today at 205-730-6570.
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