Your baby is growing up. It sometimes feels like they don’t need you anymore. There are days when it feels that all you do is argue. Constant misunderstandings and muttering of ‘It’s not fair!’ ‘You just don’t get it!’ Does this all sound familiar? If so the chances are you are the parent of a teenager!
The teen years can be the most challenging to live through both as a young person and as a parent. Setting rules and boundaries you can all live with, understanding each other’s point of view, living as a family in a time of constant change can be hard on everyone. The good news is, most of the time it’s just normal human development, and learning to adapt as a parent as your young person grows into adulthood.
Part of a teenager’s job is to test out boundaries and experiment with their identity to discover who they are and where they fit into the wider world. Foods, activities, clothes, music that was cool last week is now just not the thing. They roll their eyes at you and mutter again that you have ‘no idea’. This can be confusing and infuriating to others. As a parent it’s hard to keep in-mind that not only is all this normal but it’s necessary. Testing out the world now will give them the skills, independence and confidence they need to enter the adult world later.
Occasionally though, things get more complicated. A young person can find that their feelings become overwhelming. Dark thoughts of self-harm even of suicide can occur and are distressing for the whole family. They may feel so emotionally low that everyday tasks feel impossible. School absences increase, physical health deteriorates, eating is affected, self care may suffer. They may become isolated from friends and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. All these are signs that your young person may need some assistance.
If you are worried that your teen is at serious risk of imminent harm you should seek immediate medical assistance. Your doctor will be able to advise if medical intervention is needed. However, it can help to talk things through with someone who understands, doesn’t judge and can give much needed time and space to sort out thoughts and emotions.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, carer or young person, I can offer you a confidential space to talk through what is happening for you. We can work together to bring some peace back into your life.
Contact me for more information or to make an appointment. Remember you’re not alone.