Encourage social connection to help your depressed teen
In the previous posts, we discussed all the prevailing symptoms that cause depression in teenagers, suicide being the worst of all. Now is the time to catch this mental disease and fight it back as much as we can. After parental support, the next important thing is to encourage social connection to help your depressed teen. Depression makes them quit from all social gatherings and friend’s activities as discussed before but isolation makes things worse.
It is important to be social
Communication is the first key to make them feel good. Research on what makes them really good at or maybe go back to their good old days. If you can bring forward any one quality that helped some other person, you can convince your teen to volunteer for the same. It may be teaching a hobby or giving study notes or explaining a difficult concept in a simpler way. It will give them confidence and thought that they are also good at something. Now they are helping somebody and it is not the other way round.
Isolation makes things worse
If your teen doesn’t want to meet any of the friends, take your child for outings yourself. Rediscover the old places and favourite outlets together. The old taste and memory have the power to mend things a better way. Show your child the brighter side of life and the colourful memories he/she can still create with love and encouragement.
Alternatively, you can arrange a small get-together at home and call all close friends. They will understand the situation and help naturally.
Face to face time is crucial
This applies to all families irrespective of the depression aspect. As a parent, it is important to talk to your children looking into their eyes. No distraction at all during this time; no multitasking or phone/laptop working. This bonding time goes a long way in building the trust and relationship with your child.
Remember when your child comes back from school with a sad face and you immediately ask the reason. At that time, you don’t like doing anything but listen to your child and console. This is the behaviour your child needs every day to discuss their daily happenings whether good or not.
Involve your teen in discussions
Teens have reached a stage where they understand almost every family discussion. Give them time to grow and ask for their opinions on common issues. Everybody likes importance and your teens are no different. Involve them in your daily chores which interests them the most like cooking or gadget selection etc.
Social presence at any time is helpful to all humans and our teens are the most affected ones. Take a simple exercise and note down the number of times you sit with your child to talk. Initially, it may be less in numbers but you will be proud to see how it progresses.
Keep following the series to read other ways to fight back depression in your teen. Nothing is impossible if we start at once.
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