Positive Parenting in Uncertain Times.Part 6 : Those Mood Changes
Fri May 15th 2020
Those mood changes
Cabin Fever has set in now what about those mood changes?
How do you support your child or young person whose mood has changed, they are feeling ‘down, depressed, sad, mah’ Children and young people are adapting to home schooling, you are adapting to becoming a teacher as well as the parent, causing roles to become blurred, frustration to kick in and possibly more conflict to occur in your bubble.
Young people especially from year 9 upwards are having to learn new, challenging subjects online, without their peers being right there to lean on, without their teachers to quickly just talk too or ask a question. They might be receiving a ‘pass’ or ‘achieved’ instead of ‘excellence’ and they see this as a failure.
They may be feeling ‘dumb’, under pressure, stressed, tiered and overwhelmed. Year 11s are having to focus on the thought of NCEAS and don’t even have an option to go to attend college as the year 9s and 10s do. It’s not surprising they are possibly feeling sad and starting to withdraw.
For those young people whose ‘hormones’ are now raging, they just can’t say “STOP” to the hormones, giving them a break to help them deal with this new stuff, so on top of those ranging hormones, on top of their brain rapidly growing and soaking in all of the new information, on top of periods, shaving, smelly bodies, their body changing mentally, physically, sexually, they are now dealing with a pandemic, this feeling of isolation, loneliness, sadness and arghhhhh learning from home.
Teenagers are no longer children, but are neither adults, they still need their parents/caregivers (despite what they think) they require your guidance, patience, support. Be there through the good and bad, listen to them, that them know they are heard, guide them, stick to your boundaries, values and rules but pick your battles, especially now. However, it’s still important to say “no” to certain requests, they need to hear this and in the long run will thank you for it.
It can be a common phase for teenagers to say they are ‘depressed’ when they are feeling a deep sadness. The word ‘depressed’ in my opinion can be said too much, often they don’t really know what this means. The Mental Health NZ website has some useful information and descriptions of the feeling ‘Depressed’. https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/
It’s not uncommon for teenagers to threaten to hurt themselves or just want to end it all often this is a ‘cry for help. This is just how they feel at that moment, this is when they need your reassurance, guidance, support. Someone to ‘hear’ them, not tell them to stop being ‘silly’ or to stop talking in that way, but to recognize that they are feeling ‘lost’, scared, isolated, they aren’t sure which way to turn. They need your guidance.
Often, threats are made for when they are seeking attention, however if ever you are ‘unsure’ and need to seek guidance contact your local GP OR contact your local Mental Health Crisis Help Line, if you call the Healthline on 0800 611 116 they will give you the number OR if it is an emergency call 111.
If a young person you care about shows any of these signs of depression, there are many ways you can help. Some ways to start a conversation with a young person showing signs of depression are:
· I'd like you to tell me what you are afraid of.
· Please tell me what is worrying you and I will listen to what you say.
· I know I sometimes get angry, but it's because I care.
· I will stay here with you and we will work it out.
· It is obvious things are not OK at the moment, but they could get better.
· It is important to have faith in yourself and with support, this will help you work through the good as well as the bad times.
· Would it help if I came with you to see the doctor?
· I can find someone for you to talk with, and I'll make an appointment for you.
Useful website/contact numbers:
www.youline.co.nz 0800 376 633 Txt free: 234
www.kidsline.org.nz 0800 54 37 54
Youth Week 2020 – Nationwide 9th – 17th May 2020
OR contact AraTaiohi 04 802 5000
‘We’re Speaking, are you listening’
This is a great opportunity to talk to your young people about their feelings, invite them to check out the website, take part in activities. Let them speak and you just listen.
Aroha’s Way – Craig Phillips – A children’s guide through emotions
Hey Warrior – Karen Young – A book for kids about Anxiety
Hey Awesome – Karen young – A book for kids about Anxiety, courage and being awesome
The Soul Bird – Michal Snunit – A book about our different Feelings
Get out of your mind and into your life of for teens – Joseph V Ciarrochi – a guide to living an extraordinary life