Teen Anxiety: Tips for Parents

Image of an upset teen boy on a couch with his worried father looking at him. Overcome conflict in your family with family therapy in Englewood, CO.

If your teen has been struggling with anxiety lately, you can feel a little hopeless when it comes to helping them. It’s been found that nearly 1 in 3 teens will experience an anxiety disorder. The adolescent teen years can be some of the toughest years for your child. Worries from school, making friends, puberty, to public speaking. If you feel your teen is struggling, here are some ways you can help them through it.

Know the signs

If you have a feeling your teen is going through anxiety but aren’t sure, here are some behavioral patterns you can look out for: 

  • Emotional changes like irritability, not sleeping, or having erratic outbursts
  • Not interacting socially, isolation from friends or peers
  • Poor performance in school
  • Physical changes or excessive fatigue

If your teen is going through an anxiety attack, they may be feeling the following: 

  • Heart racing
  • Dizziness & Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • The feeling of imminent doom
  • Derealization 
  • Tingling in limbs
  • Shaking

Experiencing anxiety is something no parent wants to see their child go through. The best way to start helping your teen is to let them know that they are not alone. As undesirable as it is, the feelings they are experiencing will soon fade, and it is treatable. Explain to them that this is normal at this age or point in their life, but these feelings can be worked through.

Try spending more time with your child and build a relationship with them so they feel open to talk to you about what they are going through. Most parents don’t realize their child is going through anxiety. Try not to set high expectations for your teen as they may feel pressure having to meet those expectations. A survey found that 41% said yes to feeling overwhelmed with all that they had to do going into college. 

Encourage your teen to take breaks from social media. At this age, teens are naive to what they see on their timelines and may feel pressured to be like what they are exposed to via the internet. In the time they are off social media, encourage them to spend more time with family. Breaks from social media can also help with sleep issues. 

Unfortunately, as children get older they are faced with the harsh realities of life. It’s never easy seeing them struggle or to know they are, but it’s important as a parent to remain consistent. There are some alternatives to helping your teen with his or her anxiety by seeking help via therapy. Neurofeedback is a medication-free option that helps with anxiety and other symptoms your child may be experiencing.

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