11-20-2023 04:20 PM - edited 11-20-2023 04:26 PM
In a hyper-connected world of financial crises, cost of living spikes, global conflicts and increasing natural disasters, there’s no doubt that we are living in uncertain times and your teen knows about it.
They may feel:
- Anxious and worried
- Frustrated and angry
- Sad or hopeless
- A sense of responsibility for what’s going on
You may have some of these feelings too! It’s hard to not have the answers to all the issues at hand, and we can’t control what’s happening in the world. Our children are living through very different times than we might have at their age, and it’s important not to compare our own experiences to theirs. That being said, there are ways you can guide yourself and your whole family towards feeling better.
Tips to support your teen through uncertain times:
- Acknowledge that they might be feeling stressed or hopeless and validate that this is normal to feel.
- Open up a conversation about things happening in the world. Consider doing research together and discussing what can and can’t be controlled, and guide them towards self-care activities. You can also flip this around and spend time finding good news together and taking time to celebrate.
- Switch off together. Make rules around checking or discussing news and finances at family events, and respectfully draw boundaries around being able to say ‘no’ to discussions. Remind them that they don’t need to stay up-to-date with the news.
- Make sure your teen has healthy outlets for their stress like exercise, hobbies or friendships. You may also want to encourage them to take up a new project, or find a way to contribute to the community, such as volunteering, to empower themselves.
- Be aware of how much you tell your teen and get them involved in family stressors. They may need to know a little bit about what is happening financially or socially, but not anything that may overwhelm them. This will likely change based on their age and maturity level. Let them know that either way, it isn’t their fault, and listen if they want to contribute.
- Make sure they know they can access support outside of the family.
We have a previous piece on cost of living which gives resources on where to look for financial support. We also have a piece on helping your teen cope with world news. Finally, we have articles on helping your teen cope with change, and on how to build coping skills for anxiety.
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