How to Know if your Teenager needs Counseling
The teenage years of a child is considered to be one of the most challenging phases of their lives, not just for the teenagers themselves, but even so for their parents. This is when these kids slowly build their identity, form numerous meaningful relationships, experience many things for the first time, figure out their interests, and go through a lot of mental, emotional, and physical changes. It can be a rollercoaster ride to some adolescents in a fun way but it can also be overwhelming to others.
The new experiences and changes they go through also make them more susceptible to stress, anxiety, and depression; which is why it is important for their parents to be with them every step of the way. Healthy communication is the key to better understand and teach one’s child on how to navigate their teenage life. But just like every other parent, you might also need help in making sure that your child gets to grow up well-adjusted to the changes.
This is where teen counseling comes in. Through counseling, teenagers engage in a conversation with a mental health professional so they can help them to understand themselves better, express and process their emotions, develop good decision-making skills, set goals that align with their interests, and get introduced to healthy coping mechanisms.
But how does one know if counseling might be needed by a teenager? Some signs are if they are:
- Constantly overwhelmed with negative emotions
It is important to be observant of how a teenager deals with their emotions, because most of the time, the drastic change in environment and amount of people they interact with can make them overwhelmed. If your child frequently looks sad, angry, distant, anxious, or depressed; take it as a sign to have a proper conversation with them and to consider signing them up for counseling.
- Socially withdrawn
One of the biggest parts of growing up is your kid gets to slowly go out of their comfort zone to better integrate with society, with this process, it is normal that they will start to distance themselves from you. But it does not mean that they get to completely withdraw from family time. If they start to persistently avoid you, reach out and ask them about their life outside your home. Observe how they behave around their friends too, because if they are also withdrawn from their friend group or are having a hard time making them in the first place, it is a point of concern.
- Having a hard time making decisions
As the kids grow up, they have to learn to be decisive about certain things in order to be a fully-functional adult once they come of age. If your child lacks decision-making skills, counseling can help them be more upfront with what they want to happen and to take action to achieve it.
- Suddenly losing interest in hobbies or activities they once loved
As kids age, it is perfectly normal to lose interest in stuff that they used to love, but you usually can tell when it is just their tastes maturing or if they totally abandoned their beloved hobbies. This might be connected to the negative emotions that they are feeling, which can make them feel hopeless about pursuing their interests. If they jumped from one activity to another, it might just be them figuring out a different part of themselves, but if they suddenly stopped doing anything that they used to enjoy, it is better to check on them.
- Having a hard time controlling their sleeping schedule
Anyone who has been a student is familiar with how academic work can mess up your sleep schedule, which is why this sign might be overlooked by people. But one way to figure out if a child is having a hard time with sleep is when they either stay up even though they do not have to do anything important at night or if they start to sleep too much, making them more unavailable to the rest of the household.
- Talking about death or suicidal thoughts
As mentioned above, communication is key in raising a teenager, and if they were brave enough to talk about their suicidal thoughts or their thoughts about death; the adults must listen instead of brushing it off. This is usually them lowkey asking for help and must be treated as enough reason to ask them if they want to talk to a professional. It is important to deal with this type of conversation with an open mind and the willingness to listen and understand where they are coming from.
Please note that your child does not need to have these signs to undergo counseling, they can talk to a professional if they feel like they need guidance in dealing with all the changes that they are going through. At LiveBeyond Counseling and Coaching, we can support you and your child in their transition phase to adulthood. Our counselors can offer a comfortable and safe space for your children, paired with the proper tools in order to help them.