It’s no secret that teen mental health issues have dramatically increased over the last decade. There are many factors contributing to these trends, including the COVID pandemic, increasing academic pressures, over-scheduling, and of course, technology.
As smartphone and social media use among teens has risen, so have the rates of teen suicide, depression, and anxiety. Low self-esteem is a leading teenage problem and parents, educators, and teen mental health professionals can’t keep up with the need.
It can be difficult for parents to understand the difference between the signs of a mental health issue and normal teen angst. Parents need to stay involved and keep the lines of communication open in order to properly assess their teen’s behavior. Even small changes like teaching our kids self-care and coping strategies, ensuring they get enough sleep, and providing healthy alternatives to screen time can help our teens stay mentally and physically fit.
None of us will be the perfect parent to our teens, but that’s not what our teens expect from us. They just need us to be there for them, to listen, and to step in on those occasions when they’re still not quite ready to handle it all on their own.