Our youth today face significant challenges that can affect their mental and emotional health. These can result in behavioral issues including substance use, self-harm, chronic depression, and even suicidal tendencies.
Parents can help them face those challenges head on by teaching them resilience.
"It usually compounds itself when you’re suffering alone. Please don’t suffer alone," says Dan Scholz, Clinical Director at LifeLine for Youth, and organization that helps troubled teens and their families for the past 30 years.
"64% for example of people who are bullied don’t share it. They don’t talk to anybody about it. Any mental health issue you’re suffering through, please don’t go at it alone. There’s so much relief by sharing your story. Confiding in a friend or family member, or a therapist. It’s a really important part of breaking through that silence and ultimately finding relief and support."
One in five kids report bullying in school – and 15 percent of that is cyber bullying, one of the many challenges our youth face; something you can help them through by just opening up a conversation.
"If you see something noticeably different in your child, that’s the best cue. And parents know their child better than anybody," says Scholz. "So when something is off a parent is going to notice that sooner than anybody, right?"
For some, turning outside of family can be better.
"Sometimes teens just have parent block, and that’s when you want to access anybody in the community who could be helpful. You know, it could be a family friend, a neighbor. License therapist. Just somebody that can help get to those issues," Scholz said.
Someone, Scholz adds, who can instill in them a confidence to tackle any challenge that may come their way.
"Prepare the child for the path, and not the path for the child."
He says some parents try to make everything easy for their kids, but that doesn’t actually help.
"Really, we’re trying to prepare our child for the challenges, and that they have that belief within themselves that they can go take on those things," said Scholz. "Parenting from that perspective is a different mindset. But it’s kind of supporting your child, knowing that they can take on those battles, and you don’t have to fix them for them."