BY ALEX URBINA / Host of KHTS’ “Life Leadership” on Monday, 1-2 p.m.
Cindy from Saugus, CA writes;
Q: My teenage daughter seems distant from the family, it seems like she might be a little depressed. She is a good kid, her grades have not fallen but she just mopes around the house and does not engage with the rest of the family as much as she used to. What can I do to help her?
A: First off, I want to acknowledge you for being aware and noticing that something does not seem normal with your daughter’s usual behavior pattern.
It is no secret that teenagers are under a tremendous amount of pressure in this rapidly growing world of technology and pop culture; teens worry about many things like their future, getting a job, making their parents proud, getting a good education, who they want to be in the world and the responsibilities that come along with adulthood.
Some may have deeper issues that they could be dealing with; their parent’s divorce, self-criticism, bullying, or any other kinds of abuse.
Whatever the case may be, teenagers doubt themselves at this point of their life because they don’t know how powerful they really are. And because they doubt themselves they are trying to deal with the FEAR.
Fear is usually the root cause of all of the insecurities that teenagers are trying to cope with. It is also the source of the behavior symptoms that manifest themselves in being withdrawn, sad, disconnected and or depressed.
Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek their own reassurance when they’re afraid, teenagers usually need to rely on their parents or other caregivers to recognize their suffering, and offer the support they are quietly and unconsciously yearning for.
Teens do not yet know how to identify, acknowledge or express their fear, so they bottle it up and suppress it. Here is where you as the parent recognize that your teen is afraid and needs you to be their saving grace.
They need you to BE a loving, compassionate and understanding outlet for them to share and release the self-made pressures and heaviness that they are creating for themselves.
If this suppressed fear is not released, teens tend to turn to smoking, drugs, alcohol or any other negative behaviors that helps them cope with this issue.
This is a critical time for you to be the champion for your daughter, this is when she needs you the most, and it’s not really about what you can do for her rather who she needs you to BE.
Alex Urbina is an expert in the field of Transformational Leadership for teens, parents and families. He is a distinguished Family Life Coach facilitating teen, parent and family trainings all over the world for over 15 years; he specializes in helping people discover their full potential.