Building resilience in teens
As a parent there are things that you can do to help your teen:
1. Help them build and maintain friendships. Teens who have a good social network of friends, family and community ties are more likely to show higher levels of resilience. You can help by encouraging them to have friends over, getting to know their friends, encouraging them to participate in community such as sporting teams or work, and makings sure they build a connection with extended family. Having one person outside the family who your teen really connects with, has been shown to be an important factor in resilience.
2. Model how to handle stress. When you handle adversity well in your life, they will learn these skills from you.
3. Help your child by having him or her help others. Children who may feel helpless can be empowered by helping others. If you can get your teen to think about age-appropriate volunteer work, or get them to help you with a task they can master.
4. Teach your teen self-care. Ensure you are a good example too! Its important that teen learn the value in eating properly, exercising and resting. This helps maintain balance.
5. Allow them opportunities to grow.This can be a tricky one, but allowing your teen to make mistakes but being there to help them through mistakes, is part of learning how to keep perspective and important skills for when you fail. Be open, listen and as non-judgmental as possible.
A panic attack is part of the fight/flight response. Our bodies are designed to respond when we think there is a threat, to either run or fight. This creates changes in our bodies such as increased heart rate or blood supply. When we become anxious or afraid, this can trigger the automatic response. People who panic experience symptoms such as:
- Skipping, racing or pounding heart
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain, pressure or discomfort
- Nausea, stomach problems or sudden diarrhoea
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling faint
- Tingling or numbness in parts of your body
- Hot flushes or chills
When a person has a panic attack,it can feel like there is something wrong and that they are losing control. Learning how to handle panic by looking at how to handle the physical symptoms, as well thinking that goes with panic, are important strategies that will help in the long term.
Why focus on Emotional Regulation?
One of the biggest factors in helping a child socially, emotionally, and academically, is to help them learn emotional regulation. It sets the foundation for understanding the world and how they experience it. When a child learns to regulate, they can connect with the world, have a strong sense of self, a sense of confidence, develop friendships and learn and be in the right space to then build academic skills. Children who go to school before they are emotionally and socially ready, even if they are ready academically, are less likely to have a good start, and this can set them back for years to come.
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