Teenage mood swings are not uncommon, but a parent needs to know when it’s just a mood swing, and when it’s a sign of a deeper issue. Studies have shown that a growing number of teens are experiencing depression these days. While factors like, the effect of peers and experiences contribute to depression, parents’ behavior has a major hand in it too.
How your behavior affects your child
The first signs of depression sparks in kids in the ages 12 to 18. A number of kids experience depression in homes where the parents constantly fight or bicker with each other. Parenting can make a huge difference in influencing the kid’s depression issues. A survey says that monitoring the kids doings and whereabouts, along with letting them have a say in decisions involving the family, are linked with reduced depression levels. While parents who were aversive or over-involved, have a negative impact on their kids. Being mean, sarcastic, hostile, harsh to your kids, makes them more liable to depression. Teen depression is also prominent among kids who have been subjected to punishment, criticism and rejection from their parents. Being aware of these factors, parents should use it to enhance their kid’s mental health rather than beating themselves up.
Effects of teen depression
- They are low on energy and have issues with focusing, which reflects on their attendance and grades.
- They attempt to run away from home.
- They resort to substance abuse, as way of self-medication in dealing with their issue.
- They have a very low self-esteem.
- They resort to reckless behavior and violence, as they feel the issue is completely out of hand.
How to help your child deal with teen depression
If you’ve seen patterns in your kid that point towards teen depression, you need to start re-assessing your behavior around your child, although it isn’t necessarily all your fault. They’re under a highly volatile state right now, and adjusting your mannerisms around them can resolve the issue quite a bit. Here are some changes you could make:
- Be warm and supportive with your kids. If you’re being invasive, chances are they’ll feel patronized and not divulge anything to you. By loving them unconditionally and letting them know that you’re there for them, they’ll know whom to reach out to in case they hit a rough spot.
- Specifying boundaries and giving them guidelines will let them know that you care, and that you’re always around to guide and nurture them.
- Don’t over-control or over-supervise what they do. Giving them the freedom to do their own thing and letting them make mistakes,every once in a while, is a good way of saying you trust them.
- If you’re having troubles with your spouse, try scheduling arguments when your kids aren’t around. Watching parents fight can have a deep impact on kids, as they look up to them.
- Be kind and encouraging around your kids. Not only will this reduce their chances of experiencing depression, but they’ll also learn to follow your lead.