October 6, 2006, Newsletter Issue #33: How Parents Can Help Break the Distancing Cycle

Tip of the Week

If your teenager has been distancing themselves and the amount of time has lasted for a few weeks to a few months, there are some ways to try and help break your teenager out of their depression. These are suggestions to try to get your teenager to speak with you, not cure their depression.

1) When your teenager speaks to you, listen to their words and respond. The hardest thing for teenagers who are going through physical and emotional changes is to have no one to trust and be able to communicate with. Giving your teenager your full attention will show you love and support them.

2) Try listening to their music. Besides spending quality time with your teenager, it shows you are open and acceptable of their choices.

3) When your teenager approaches you with a problem, don't solve it for them. Allowing your teenager to speak their mind and share their feelings with you is a sign they need your support. Giving advice and opinions that were not asked for will turn your teenager off from future conversations.

4) If your teenager screams at you to leave them alone, a parent should realize this is a test. The depressed teenager needs support and by saying harsh words is their way of seeking answers from you.

If you suspect your teenager is depressed, always seek the professional help of a therapist. The suggestions above are to try and allow your teenager to open up and break the cycle of withdrawing themselves from you.

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