Teen Stress And Depression: How Parents Can Help Teenage Kids Cope With Feelings Of Stress And Depression This Holiday Season

By Charlize Walters, Parent Herald December 11, 06:00 pm
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As the world celebrates the most festive season of the year, people are prone to the feelings of stress and depression. Due to the hustles, bustles and raised expectations that come with the holiday season, there's an increased risk of stress and depression among teenagers.

Based on the email sent to Parent Herald, the American Psychological Association found through a survey that teenagers are experiencing more stresses in life than adults. A new research from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health revealed the prevalence of depression among teens and young adults has significantly increased in recent years, particularly among teenage girls.

Due to the alarming trend in the prevalence of depression among teenagers, Possibilities for Change founder and "Teen Speak" author Dr. Jennifer Salerno is urging parents to build strong relationships with their teens to ensure their mental well-being is safe and healthy. According to Salerno, there are four simple ways for parents to help their teenage kids cope or deal with their feelings of stress or depression.

First, parents are advised to build a relationship with their children based on mutual respect. Salerno explains having a "two-way discussion" with teens make them feel respected and valued.

Another tip for parents is to encourage self-worth and self-esteem. Parents should concentrate more on the positive side of the children and their strengths. The reason? Salerno reveals focusing on a child's weaknesses and making him or her feel they are not good enough could lead to more serious issues such as substance use or abuse, having sex at an early age, depression and anxiety.

Third advice is the power of listening. Salerno emphasizes the role of parents is to "facilitate conversations and not lead them." She says teenagers should be doing the talking more than the parents.

Moreover, parents should never interrupt or share personal stories when the kids are sharing or talking. Instead, parents are urged to ask questions.

The last but not the least tip is for parents to slow their impulsiveness. While it is quite understandable for parents to be impulsive, studies show that if teenagers are allowed to "talk through common situations and think about the different ways to handle them," Salerno explains kids are more likely to display safer and healthier behaviors and won't do something on impulse.

So parents, do you want to spend the holidays merrily and festive? Then, this is the time to be equipped with "evidence-based, proven communication" approaches that can help foster a strong relationship with their teens and eliminate the risks for depression and stresses.

In other related news, anxiety and irritability may lead to depression in high-risk teens. According to Reuters, teenagers are more vulnerable to develop depression if their parents have a history of the disorder.

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