“Your perception of your potential will determine how much of your potential you will live.” -Robin Sharma
Would you go back to being a teen if you could? Most people I know would answer… “Hell no! Not even if you gave me a million dollars!” In fact, I have said that statement countless times over the years. Being a teen was hard for me, I suffered silently with depression, all the while masked as the perfect daughter and student. It was exhausting, it was sad, lonely, and excruciatingly painful. No way would I want to repeat that. (Or so I have always believed)
As I was talking with a teen client of mine yesterday I said these words… “Teens these days are so amazing. You guys have opportunities we couldn’t even fathom when we were young and given the space you guys are going to do crazy awesome things.” She looked at me strangely so I explained a little further. “When we were younger all we knew was the tiny bubble we lived in, you guys have the world. Us as parents don’t understand what that’s even like so it scares us and we tend to pull you closer in to protect you, however you know that you can do anything and so you usually do! You see the possibilities in the world, your vision is so much larger than ours.”
This conversation left me thinking about the endless possibilities our kids have in front of them. The stories of teens owning their own businesses, inventing amazing gadgets, and learning about who they really are at such a young age. Would I go back to being a teen? Absolutely! With ONE caveat… IF, and ONLY IF, I had the chance to learn the emotional coping skills I have now. I would love to go back to being that teen who felt broken and be given the opportunity to find who I was during my teen years instead of waiting till my late twenties to do so. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine how much easier it would be to learn those skills from the get go instead of breaking 20 year old habits.
The world is at their feet and it’s our job as parents to prepare them to enter adulthood with the best foundation possible, right? Emotional health is the most CRITICAL aspect they need to develop and yet it is the most overlooked. When our children are secure in who they are, trust their decisions, and comfortable in their own skin, they make great decisions. Unfortunately, teens these days report stress levels as high as adults and the rate of substance abuse, self harm, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety is increasing at alarming levels. They are unable to cope and are turning to unhealthy ways to relieve stress and pain.
Signs your teen needs more support:
- Increased mood swings
- Retreating to their room
- Change in liked activities
- Change in music, friends, behaviors
- Struggle with perfectionism
- Always on the go (uncomfortable with downtime)
- Complains of regular aches and pains
There is no shame in reaching out for more support. Giving your teen an unbiased outlet creates the space they need to thrive and really explore with no judgment the deepest parts of their being.
With love, light, and laughter,
P.S. It takes a village to raise a child and YOU are doing an amazing job!