Many teens struggle with talking to their parents about their inner emotional battles. We talk about reasons why that is and what parents can do to help.
What Prevents a Teen From Talking to Their Parents Who Can Help
As parents, we all want to create a relationship with our teens where they feel comfortable talking to us. We particularly want them to talk to us when things are challenging for them. Being a teen is tough when we were teens and even more so for teens today. It's difficult to help our teens when they don't let us know what is going on.
Stigma & Misunderstanding Around Mental Health Struggles
Although the stigma around mental health has improved in the last decade, the stigma still remains to a degree. Teens may see teen depression or teen anxiety as a 'mental weakness' rather than a physically based struggle. Mood and emotional struggles have their origins in the brain (a physical organ). Mood and emotional struggles do not have their origins in some ethereal mental plane in our mind. When we target the struggles at the level of the brain, the struggles are alleviated or eliminated. With this misunderstanding, teens sometimes struggle to talk to their parents about their inner, emotional struggles.
I Can do This on my Own
Teens often feel that they can solve these struggles on their own. They put their best thinking into solving teen depression, teen anxiety, or other struggles. They research on the internet how to manage symptoms related to teen trauma. They may find information on EMDR counseling, trauma therapy & PTSD treatment only to find the symptoms persist. Not being able to solve these struggles on their own often causes a feeling of being 'mentally weak' not understanding where the symptoms originate.
Shame and Embarrassment
As teens struggle with overcoming the struggles on their own and feeling as if they have failed, they struggle to approach their parents. They may have difficulty with explaining exactly how they feel. They also may have difficulty as they may not have an answer on why they feel this way. There can be embarrassment with having these conversations with their parents.
Not Wanting to Add More Stress to Their Parents Lives
Many times we hear that they didn't want to talk with their parents about their struggles as they didn't want to add stress to their parents lives. They see their parents working hard to provide the best for them. The often appreciate (though at times it may not show) the sacrifices made for them. Teens do not approach their parents with their intense struggles as they are trying to protect their parents from additional stress.
Disappointing Their Parents
Along with not wanting to add more stress to their parents lives, we often hear that they didn't want to disappoint their parents. Teens want their parents to be proud of them. You may have a parent who talks often of their talented teen athlete and the accomplishments they have made. A parent may be talking about their gifted student and how proud they are of them. Working hard to overcome these struggles themselves and failing to do so, teens do not want to detract from the pride their parents feel.
Anticipated Response from Parents
Teens may have anxiety or concern over how their parents may respond. They may have heard their parents talk about others with mood or emotional disorders as a mental weakness. They may have heard parents talk about their feelings around someone seeing a therapist. Teens may feel that if they ask their parents if they can go to depression counseling, anxiety treatment, or therapy for trauma, their parents may ask questions they don't have the answers to. Not having the answers may or not quite ready to talk to their parents about those answers may be enough to dissuade teens from talking to their parents.
How Can Parents Help Their Teens Talk to Them About Inner Emotional Battles
Some things that parents can do to provide an atmosphere where their teen will feel more comfortable talking to their parents are:
Change the Narrative: Understand Mental Health Struggles
When parents are educated on causes of mental health struggles in general, the discussions in the household change. Understanding that teen depression, teen anxiety, symptoms related to teen trauma originate in and from the brain, it no longer is a mental weakness. Therapy approaches like EMDR therapy, neurofeedback counseling, therapy for trauma & PTSD counseling become acceptable means in helping your teen.
Pay Attention and Listen to Your Parental Radar
Though we hear all the time that, "my parents just don't understand me", there is nothing further from the truth. Yes, sometimes they don't understand because the teen won't talk to you but that's what we're working on in this blog. Parents, there is no one in the world that understands your teen better than you. You know your teens personality, moods, introversion or extroversion level, etc.
When you see a change in their personality, notice it and ask your teen about the change. They may tell you it's nothing, I'm just tired, you worry too much, but that is your job as a parent to ask. If you notice this persist overtime, continue to check in with your teen. As you continue to check in overtime, the chances of your teen talking with you increase dramatically. Even though they may do things to throw you off the scent and push you away, keep asking. This demonstrates to them that you want to know and help. When you don't ask, they tend to keep it to themselves and it gets worse over time.
Seek Advice or Consultation From a Specialist in Teen Counseling & Family Therapy
If you've done all the above, your teen continues to not talk to you, but your parental radar tells you something is wrong, don't ignore it. Reach out to a specialist in teen counseling and family therapy for a consultation. This is a good place to start as they can provide insight, suggestions, information and education. If they believe that your teen is struggling, schedule an appointment for you and your teen to talk to the therapist. If you are at the point of considering whether or not to reach out to a specialist in teen counseling and family therapy, it is usually a good indicator that your teen needs help.
You Have Specialists in Teen Counseling & Family Therapy Here in the Katy, Texas and Houston Area
If you find that you need to reach out for consultation with a specialist in teen counseling and family therapy, we are here to help. The pressures to our teens have today to succeed cause gifted students, teen athletes, and many other teens to try to overcome their inner emotional struggles on their own. At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we can provide answers and solutions to your teens struggles. To reach out for a consultation or to start the journey of healing, you can follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Being your journey and let us be your expert guide on this journey of healing
Services Provide in Katy, Texas and for Those Living in the Houston Area
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide the following service for the teens and families that we work with:
Neurofeedback In Katy Texas
Neurofeedback Therapy for Teen ADHD
Neurofeedback in Houston Texas
Neurofeedback Counseling for Teen ADHD
Counseling Services for Teens in Katy Texas and the Houston Area
Providing Therapy and Counseling Services to Teens & Families Since 2003
With teen depression and teen anxiety increasing 52% over the last 10 years, our teens have become more adept at hiding their inner emotional battles. Let Katy Teen & Family Counseling help you help your teen. Teens do not grow out of these inner emotional battles but rather grow into them as they become adults.
Help is right around the corner for those who live in Katy and just a few minutes for those who life in Houston. We are conveniently located in the heart of Old Katy just off of I-10 and Pin Oak Boulevard.
How to Begin Teen Therapy or Family Counseling
To begin teen therapy or family counseling, simply contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling through our website or by calling 346-202-4662. Our Owner and Lead Clinician answers each phone call to help match you with the right therapist for you teen and family.
About the Author
Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He is a Specialist in Teen Therapy & Family Counseling. He has provided therapy to teens and families since 2003. Through his expertise, he helps teens who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD/ADD, and PTSD. He works with talented teen athletes who have experience mental blocks. Gifted students have unique challenges that Jason understands well. Jason uses CBT, EMDR, Neurofeedback, FFT, and Motivational Interviewing. We only work with teens and families which allows us to focus on what teens and families of today need. Resolving the struggles of today can assure a more successful tomorrow. Proudly serving Katy, Tx and Houston.