Are you a parent? Think about the above. One in Four. Walk into a classroom with 20 kids and 4 of them are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. Could you point to the four kids? I’ve learned that you’d only be right about 25% of the time. Kids are really good at hiding things from their parents and this is no different.
I’ve learned that you have to talk to your kids. Talk to your kids EVERY DAY. Don’t assume that their actions are telling you the story. Ask the extra question. Question that which isn’t normal. Push were it is right to push. Trust your instincts.
Did you take the time to read this graphic? I mean really take the time to read it? It’s uncomfortable. It’s isn’t your average kitchen table dinner talk. Why? We talk to our kids about drugs, and alcohol, and sex. We talk to our kids about God, and right and wrong. We talk to our kids about their physical health, what they eat, how much they exercise. Why don’t we talk to our kids about what is going on in their head?
My teenager doesn’t want to talk to me. Ummm, WRONG!!
Teenagers might not know HOW to talk to you. Or more often then not maybe it is because we don’t let our teenagers talk to us. We assume that as their parents we already know how they feel or what they are thinking. We assume that we know what is right and wrong for them. What have I learned? I’ve learned that the more I thought I knew about parenting the more wrong I was.
It’s human nature. Human nature to be thinking of how we are going to respond to what someone is saying before they have even finished speaking. How can you know how to respond if the person hasn’t even stopped talking? How can you be listening to what they are saying, if you are already thinking about what you want to say? The hardest thing we can do as a parent is to not give an opinion.
What is hard? Driving your child to a therapist, watching them walk in and talking to this stranger for an hour, and living up to your promise of not asking what is talked about. My child is her own individual, and she has a God given right to her own feelings and emotions. Parents that is HARD, but you know what? When your child knows you respect their emotions, their thoughts and their feelings. When your child knows that you respect the process, and their individuality. Well, you know what happens? They open up. They tell you. Your relationship with them becomes that much stronger.
I am a parent. I have parented children through infancy, the toddler stage, childhood, preteen years, and now the teenage years. I have learned to parent asthma, cystic fibrosis, failure to thrive, chronic vomiting, migraines, and on and on. But I can say, without hesitation, that parenting a child through anxiety and depression is by far the hardest challenge we face. It is unknown, unseen, unpredictable. There isn’t a test or a pill or a once size fits all strategy.
So where are we now that Brooklyn has shared her story with all of you? We are ok. We are a family. We are strong. We love one another. We talk to one another. We are honest with one another. We live our live day by day. We ask for help and we get it. We are not proud, and we have learned to be humble.
Our story isn’t unique, but it isn’t one that many will share. We believe that everyone will be better, children, teens, and adults, if we have the courage to share more. If we have the opportunity to understand that we aren’t alone, and others are going through the same thing.
If your still readying thank you. #blogtherapy