As parents, we always want to know that we are making the best and healthiest choices for our children. However, in today’s world it is not always clear what pressures and issues they may be facing. We hope that they react in the healthiest ways, but sometimes they may need additional help to maneuver through life’s obstacles. Adolescence is a natural time for more autonomy, learning to deal with peers, processing new ideas and dealing with varying moods and esteem issues. Parents need to know the warning signs to observe and when it is deemed necessary to find a counselor for their children.
Most issues are worked through with open communication and keeping a safe and supportive environment for the teen to explore and share their concerns, but parents may need to seek a counselors help:
- If there is a family life change, like moving, divorce, a serious illness or death in the (family, close friend, boyfriend or girlfriend)
- Any type of substance abuse
- Developing an illness or disability
- Community tragedies
If any of these significant events arise or your teen shows signs of depression, which can be demonstrated through changes in sleep or eating habits, being withdrawn, sadness for longer than two weeks, change of interest in things they once enjoyed or disliked or neglecting personal hygeine. More obvious danger signs to the parents or school may be, violence towards themselves or others, running away from home, illegal activities, risky sexual behavior and changes in school performance.
Of course this is a fundamental guideline, all teens are unique and do not behave or react the same to stressful situations. If your family has significant changes or you have observed any of these warning signs please seek out therapy with a licensed teen counselor.