Adolescence is an exciting yet confusing time for teenagers. For some, it’s filled with the best years of their lives, but for others, it’s an overload of new experiences, strange events, and challenging ordeals that they may not be prepared for. Pressure in school, trauma from bullying, and the need to belong are only some of the events that can cause a teen to be lonely or even develop depression. For these reasons, teens need their parents’ unconditional and unwavering support during these tumultuous years of their lives. This article will discuss how a busy parent can help their lonely and depressed teen.
Ways You Can Help Your Lonely and Depressed Teen
Try to come home early from work and spend extra family time
Having a good work-life balance is necessary for you and your family as a whole. While children may enter a “rebellious” phase during their teenage years, and it may seem natural for them to spend more time with their friends, you must make time in your schedule to spend quality time bonding with them. Lonely or depressed teens may not be comfortable sharing the reason for their sadness if they know you are too busy for them. They may think you’d be indifferent to their cries for help or be too ashamed to disturb you if it’s ingrained in their minds that you’re too busy for them. Thus, showing your teenage kids that you always have time available for them and spending time to bond with them will make them feel loved and supported.
Be a good listener
Many teenagers refrain from sharing their thoughts with their parents if they perceive their parents won’t bother to hear what they have to say. Being an empathetic leader and listener is an important quality to have regardless if you have a lonely or depressed teen. Develop the skill of listening to your teen’s troubles and putting yourself in their shoes. If your child learns that you value what they have to say and you won’t judge them for it, they are more likely to open up to you and share what’s been making them feel lonely or depressed.
Parents need to be encouraging and supportive of their children. Let them explore their hobbies and passions without any judgment or reservations. Sometimes, a teen is depressed because they want to pursue a passion or a goal but know that their parents won’t support them or would even admonish them for it. While most parents only want what’s best for their children, being overly controlling towards a teenager may push them away from you and worsen their loneliness or depression. So be more supportive of your kid. After all, it makes a difference knowing your parents have your back.
Ask specific questions they are interested in answering
Teenagers may have an easier time if you ask them questions they are interested in answering. The standard “How’s your day” may not be enough to get you updated on what’s going on with your teen. Instead, asking them specific questions is key. Asking them for app recommendations for your phone would be great if your teen is tech-savvy. Or tell them about cool productivity apps you’ve found for yourself. If you ask your teen their opinion on where they want to go for a family vacation, it allows them to have a say on things. Moral of the story here is to ask questions they want to and are interested in answering.
Take an interest in their interests
It may seem a bit awkward at first, but your teenager would feel like you want to be a part of their life if you show an interest in their interests. Take the time to know what their hobbies are, what their favorite genre of music is, and what they like to do in their free time. For many parents, sharing an interest with their teenagers is crucial for bringing them closer together.
Text your teen something funny
Laughter is the best medicine. Something as simple as a meme or a joke can help turn your lonely or depressed teen’s day around. So send them something funny if you think your teen is having a bad day!
Surprise your teenager with something they’d enjoy
If you’ve noticed your teen is feeling down in the dumps lately, one of the best ways to improve their mood is to surprise them with something they’d enjoy. It could be something as simple as cooking their favorite meal. Maybe you could get them that game they’ve wanted for so long. Or perhaps, you could take them on a weekend getaway to relax or unwind. In situations like this, the most important thing is you’d do something for your teenager that you know they’d enjoy.
Consider getting a dog/cat if you don’t have one
A pet can go a long way in alleviating the loneliness or depression a teenager feels. Not only will a pet serve as some company when you’re not around, but they can also improve the emotional wellbeing of your teen. Having a pet could also help positively influence your business career believe it or not. If you do not have one already, consider adopting a cat or a dog as a family pet.