Is it the ‘in thing’ to have a therapist, panic attacks and an excuse to get out of exams?

For heaven’s sake, toughen up.

If your teen had been with you when you were young, they’d never survive! Bullying and name calling were leadership skills (on and off the school grounds) and no one was coming running if you felt offended or triggered. You survived so much worse…minus social media and a global pandemic.

According to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, anxiety IS on the rise in young people aged 15 to 24, who are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group. And with 70% of mental health problems having their onset during childhood or adolescence, it’s more than being cool, a fad or attention seeking tool.

Just because you never experienced it, or don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

I got this comment yesterday, and it’s just one of thousands like it on videos I’ve posted.
 
It’s time to step away from the assumption that you’re a bad parent if your teen is struggling with mental health issues. You love your teen and have bent over backwards to make their life better than what you had. Your passion to be the best parent is also the poison apple, numbing your senses to hear subtle cries for help.
 
I was that parent.
 
My oldest son was struggling by age 6, and I questioned my value as a parent. I was certain I was failing and it was my fault. When he has diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and OCD at age 8, I came face to face with my perfect parenting fantasy, “no….no….NO, NO, NO, NO!! This isn’t how it was supposed to be!” (Insert me crying on my knees and pounding the floor with my fists).
 
I was going to do better.
 
As a teen who grew up wrought with anxiety, yet won academic and athletic awards at school, I understand it’d be easy to believe I was fine. When my grades tanked, I started skipping school and eventually attempted suicide; no one asked me what was wrong and there was no way I was telling my parents.

They think they’ve failed you.

Do you see the irony? Your teen thinks if you knew their scary thoughts and feelings, you’d be disappointed, angry, annoyed and much worse. Their fear of telling you what they can’t make sense of only adds to their struggle.

Teens are masters at masking big stuff making it even more important for you to notice their demeanor and listen to subtle hints.

If you suspect there’s more going on with your teen than they’re letting on, wade in gently and compassionately, as many times as it takes.

Supporting your teen through mental health challenges is all part of the parenting package that doesn’t equate to a terrible reflection on you! Support them because you’re an AMAZING AND LOVING parent and assure them they haven’t failed you either.

I understand how difficult raising a child with anxiety is and not knowing where to turn for answers. I’m currently booking limited, private coaching sessions to better support you while dealing with tough stuff. Click below to schedule your session now.

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