Teenage girls are becoming more anxious, depressed and solitary, despite 24/7 online “connection”. We need to find ways to engage them face-to-face and open the lines of communication so they know we are here for them and can handle what they’re going through.
Many teens feel responsible for the mental health of their peers and try to handle situations and offer solutions to problems that really need and deserve adult intervention.
Parents can help by:
- Asking if your teen has friends who need support. Do they have friends that are relying on them because they’re lonely, depressed, anxious or suicidal? Let them know there are adult resources and organizations that have tools to help and offer to make the calls.
- Offering your teen opportunities to get involved IRL (in real life) with something bigger than themselves. Volunteer for a cause they believe in. Tutor a younger child. Advocate for others.
- Limiting screen time and filtering access to inappropriate content
- Monitoring what your teen is seeing, liking, commenting on online (Try Bark: it’s a great parenting tool to “see” inappropriate content)
More resources in this Wall Street Journal article here.