Steps to Support Your Apprehensive, Restless, Uptight Teen


Teenage life is stressful by definition. These days, that goes double… if not triple. Every teen deals with social issues, academic pressure, and the challenge of beginning the transition into adulthood. This has been the case for decades. Today, in addition, we live in a world of smartphones and social media. We’re all trying to stay stable despite a health crisis, political division, and social strife.

It’s never easy to watch your teen struggle. However, you know you need to give them some space to learn and grow. How in the world can you figure out the right timing and balance?

3 Common Signs of Teen Anxiety to Watch For

Anxiety is an incredibly common cause of teen restlessness. That said, it can easily go unnoticed by them and you. After all, how does one discern normal apprehension from a diagnosable mental health condition? It helps to know what to look for, e.g.

1. Short Temper

It may take only the tiniest offense or perceived slight to set them off. Their anger seems disproportionate. You and other family members feel like you’re walking on eggshells.

2. Academic Problems

Straight A’s are not always possible. But it might be a serious red flag if their grades drop suddenly and your teen seems unmoved by this development.

3. Unexplained Illnesses or Pain

Any of the following could become chronic complaints when anxiety is present:

  • Frequent colds
  • Stomach issues
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue

Pay close attention without alarming them or becoming overprotective. Trust your gut. If your teen is struggling with anxiety, help is available and accessible.

What to Do When Your Teen is Having Trouble Fitting In

Give Them Space to Talk and Be Heard

This is an opportunity to treat them like the young adult they are. Listen intently to their perspective. Let them know you are hearing and validating the situation. Find that balance of being available without disrespecting their personal boundaries.

Resist the Urge to “Fix” Things Immediately

That kind of approach can work well when they are young. But they no longer need you to do everything for them. Step back and wait for them to ask for help. In the meantime, simply respecting their struggle might be the best gift you can give them.

Urge Them to Be Patient, Too

When appropriate, remind them that there is no magic formula. Sometimes, it’s the small steps that add up to big results. Major change can happen by making just one friend, for starters. If they seem open to it, perhaps you can offer some input on navigating the minefield of social interactions.

Encourage Them to Ask For Help

Take the shame and stigma out of needing some support. Make sure they know they are not alone. Help them seek out resources. For example, they may benefit immensely from speaking to a therapist (see below). However, if you see signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, you must step in as quickly as possible.

Help IS Available and Accessible (for both of you)

Counseling can offer solace and solutions — for both of you. Firstly, your child will be given a safe space in which they can share their feelings and perceptions. They are able to feel independent as they actively work to solve their own problems.

Also, for you, regular counseling sessions can help ease your overburdened mind. You’re worried about your teen. You may even be doubting your ability to help them. There is no guidebook for parenting a teenager. Hence, it can be powerful to have an experienced,  nonjudgmental guide at this point in your life. If this sounds ideal right about now, read more about anxiety therapy for teens, and let’s connect.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*