Parenting Teenage Boys: An Effective Parenting Guide for Raising Teen Boys (Parenting Advice)
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While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm. Promote volunteerism. Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and self-esteem booster.
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If you volunteer with them, it can also be a good bonding experience. Physical and mental health are inextricably connected. Depression is exacerbated by inactivity, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition. Unfortunately, teens are known for their unhealthy habits: staying up late, eating junk food, and spending hours on their phones and devices.
But as a parent, you can combat these behaviors by establishing a healthy, supportive home environment. Get your teen moving! Exercise is absolutely essential to mental health , so get your teen active—whatever it takes. Set limits on screen time. Teens often go online to escape their problems, but when screen time goes up, physical activity and face time with friends goes down.
Both are a recipe for worsening symptoms. Provide nutritious, balanced meals.
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Make sure your teen is getting the nutrition they need for optimum brain health and mood support: things like healthy fats , quality protein , and fresh produce. Encourage plenty of sleep. Teens need more sleep than adults to function optimally—up to hours per night. No one therapist is a miracle worker, and no one treatment works for everyone. Talk therapy is often a good initial treatment for mild to moderate cases of depression. Unfortunately, some parents feel pushed into choosing antidepressant medication over other treatments that may be cost-prohibitive or time-intensive.
In all cases, antidepressants are most effective when part of a broader treatment plan. Antidepressants were designed and tested on adults, so their impact on young, developing brains is not yet fully understood. Some researchers are concerned that exposure to drugs such as Prozac may interfere with normal brain development—particularly the way the brain manages stress and regulates emotion. Antidepressants also come with risks and side effects of their own , including a number of safety concerns specific to children and young adults. They are also known to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some teenagers and young adults.
Teens with bipolar disorder , a family history of bipolar disorder, or a history of previous suicide attempts are particularly vulnerable. The risk of suicide is highest during the first two months of antidepressant treatment. Teenagers on antidepressants should be closely monitored for any sign that the depression is getting worse.
Be understanding. Living with a depressed teenager can be difficult and draining.
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At times, you may experience exhaustion, rejection, despair, aggravation, or any other number of negative emotions. Your teen is suffering, so do your best to be patient and understanding. Stay involved in treatment. Be patient.
Rejoice in small victories and prepare for the occasional setback. As a parent, you may find yourself focusing all your energy and attention on your depressed teen and neglecting your own needs and the needs of other family members. Above all, this means reaching out for much needed support.
Having your own support system in place will help you stay healthy and positive as you work to help your teen.
Reach out to friends, join a support group, or see a therapist of your own. Look after your health. Be open with the family. Kids know when something is wrong.
When left in the dark, their imaginations will often jump to far worse conclusions. Be open about what is going on and invite your children to ask questions and share their feelings. Remember the siblings.
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Siblings may need special individual attention or professional help of their own to handle their feelings about the situation. Avoid the blame game. About Teen Suicide — Risk factors, warnings signs, and how to get help. Warning Signs of Youth Violence — Why some teenagers turn violent. American Psychological Association. Treatment of Children with Mental Illness — Treatment of mental disorders in children, including depression.
National Institute of Mental Health. In the U. Authors: Melinda Smith, M. Last updated: October Share Your Experience. Understanding teen depression The teen years can be extremely tough and depression affects teenagers far more often than many of us realize.
Parenting Teenagers - Adolescent Development & Parenting Tips (13 - 18) -
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