As a mom, no parent wants to see their child struggle with anything. From their time as babies when you would watch their every move, every sneeze responded with a worried glance at your partner. As they grow you start to worry about them starting school, making friends and becoming grounded and diverse. You worry about them as a teenager, but the issue with these years of parenting is life is that often your now not so little child is less likely to let you in. They tend to want to try and deal with things on their own, perhaps feeling embarrassed or afraid. So it is just as important to watch out for those signs, just like you did when they were a baby, even if they are less obvious. I thought I would share with you what some of them are.
Have you noticed a change in mood?
Sometimes the mood of someone is an identifying way of figuring out if something is wrong. If you find that your teen is angry for no apparent reason, upset and emotional at the slightest thing, or just generally being quiet and not their usual self, then maybe there is something more to it. The best advice would be to openly ask and leave the door open for a line of communication. You may not get a response straight away, but it could be a comfort to know that there is an option. However, teenagers do go through mood changes in these years due to hormones, so it may be worth just monitoring the behavior before assuming the worst.
Have you spotted a change in behavior?
Much like a mood change, you may also spot a change in behavior. Perhaps attitude, anger, or frustration are all seeping into daily life. You may notice stress levels have risen, anxiety creeping in, struggling to contain emotion, which can also be signs of depression or even PTSD. If you fear that there is more to it than general teen behavior then you can look into things like teen PTSD treatment or talking therapies to help with any trapped emotions or thoughts. It may be that the change of behaviour is down to something small or trivial, or it could be something that has been festering for some time.
Do they say things differently?
Maybe you are noticing other changes in your teen. Perhaps they are not responding in their usual way. Maybe they are quiet and withdrawn from conversations, maybe they aren’t saying anything at all. Perhaps you have noticed that they are quick to answer, have angry tones or sound frustrated. If you spot changes like this again the first port of call would be to attempt a line of communication with them. These things can often take time, but depending on the type of relationship you have with your child, it could soon be a way or resolving underlying issues.
Are they eating or carrying on with their normal day to day routine?
Finally, take notice of physical changes such as eating habits and their day to day routine. This can often be a big indicator that something isn’t right and that more help or supervision is required.
I hope that these signs help you with your teenager if you fear they are struggling.