Valentine’s Day is a fun and festive celebration and the day is usually marked with the giving and receiving of tokens of love and appreciation.
However, for some, it can have a negative and opposite effect. Valentine’s Day for a teen who isn’t in a relationship can see them suffering from anxiety and feel more lonely, unloved, or unappreciated. And for sensitive teens, or those who have been in painful situations – such as dealing with a difficult family dynamic, a teen who has had their first heartbreak, or one who has never felt butterflies in their stomachs but is itching to – the day can be a painful reminder of what they feel is missing in their life.
A recent cover story in The New York Times Magazine highlights that tweens and teens suffering from anxiety have become an overwhelming issue for their families. Anxiety in a young person can become all-consuming and can contribute to longer-term mental health concerns if not addressed.
Because our children are being raised in a seemingly more demanding society than we grew up in ourselves, anxiety and the low mood amongst young people appears to be more prevalent. The influences of the digital age where lives are ruled by smartphones and social media, can force some teens to feel that they do not fit and then lead to anxious and/or depressive behaviour.
But don’t worry…
The positive news is that anxiety can still be at least tamed, contained or hopefully even eliminated depending on the individual and the support they receive.
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate some of your tweens and teen’s Valentine’s Day anxiety.
Parenting Reminder: First things first, you cannot force a tween or teen with diagnosed anxiety to easily get over it. You need to understand and accept the fact that your child is suffering from anxiety and/or depression and the first step is to have this acknowledged/diagnosed by a medical professional. Your GP is a great place to start.
You can anticipate unexpected and surprising behaviours from them. While they’ll most likely need some support from external sources, you are the best person to be consistently there to help them deal with their fluctuating moods and thoughts.
Let Them Express Their Feelings
Talk to your teen about how they feel about Valentine’s Day. Get a sense of what they are going through from their lead in the conversation.
Remember that your parent’s instinct is everything and that they may try putting on a brave face to hide any hurt they’re feeling. Try to read between the lines if you feel they’re not coping as well as they say they are, this will help you give great advice to meet what they need as of that moment.
You may also like Teen Stress and How You Can Help Them Manage It.
You may also like Setting Boundaries When Parenting A Teen Who’s Dating.
Make Them Feel Understood
The next best thing you can do is to make your teen feel understood. Let them know that it’s normal to experience heartbreak, feel anxious, stress, worried, or sometimes even lost. Help them try to see things as a growing experience and realise that there are no “permanent” bad situations in life and that future days can be brighter. Teach them that life goes on, and what they are worrying about today might just be the laughs they could have tomorrow.
It’s all about trying to help them have a stronger, positive mindset.
You may also like The Secret Keys To Raising a Teenage Girl Who Knows Her Worth.
Let Them Know That You Are Always There
Touch base with your teen when you’re done with tip number one and two. Always make them feel welcome to seek you out and let them know that you’ll always be available when they need someone to talk to, someone to share their problems with, and someone who will fully understand them without judgement.
You may also like Dealing With Teenagers Who Suffer Anxiety And Depression.
Give A Little Something This Valentine’s Day
Last but not the least! Give them a little something this Valentine’s Day!
You don’t need to give them a luxurious bouquet of flowers like lovers do…. a simple sweet gesture with a note will do! Oh, and maybe some chocolates for their sweet tooth!
If you’d like to add more tips, gift ideas, and parenting hacks. Please don’t hesitate to share it on the comment section below.
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