Almost every teen goes through difficult periods of adjustment as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. For parents, one of the biggest challenges during this period is sorting out normal “teenage angst” from more serious problems like depression. To help, here’s a basic guide explaining what you need to know.
What causes depression?
For any person, clinical depression is a serious issue that affects every area of life. There is often no single cause for depression, but contributing factors include:
- Hormonal changes
- Inherited traits
- Brain chemistry changes
- Presence of other mental health problems
- Learning disabilities
- Academic performance difficulties
When depression is not treated promptly, it can lead to significant complications. Untreated depression drives people into relationship conflicts, alcohol abuse, academic and work performance issues, and in worst cases, self-harm and attempted suicide.
For teens, depression can be especially devastating since they lack the life experience and emotional maturity to help them recognize and deal with their emotions. Depression is a serious issue, and depression among teens has grown exponentially in the social media age.
What symptoms indicate my teen might be depressed?
There are a number of symptoms which could indicate depression, and it’s important to be familiar with them. Here are some of the most important:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy
- Irritability or anger
- Increased isolation
- Fatigue or weakness
- Constant aches and pains
- Lack of interest in things they enjoyed previously
- Persistent negative thinking
- Persistent sadness
- Oversensitivity to criticism
- Thoughts or talk of death and suicide
- Substance abuse
All of the above symptoms can be a normal part of the healthy teenage experience. As teens move from childhood into the responsibilities and complexities of adult life, they may naturally find themselves feeling sad, fatigued, hopeless, or overly sensitive.
And the fact that they are currently undergoing physiological changes in their growing bodies doesn’t make things any easier for them. The key for parents is noticing when these symptoms move from normal to concerning.
When are these symptoms most serious?
Parents should consider the duration of the symptoms, how intense they are, and which areas of life they affect. Reflecting on symptoms in light of these areas can help parents decide whether their teen is experiencing normal growing pains or something else — and whether they should seek help for their child in depression treatment centers for teenagers.
Area of life: It is quite normal for teens to express frustration, impatience, and anger at their family or toward others they feel they can confide in, yet reign all that in when around their friends or those they admire. They may be willing to let their family see how sad they are but they put up a more positive front around classmates.
If these feelings and outbursts are starting to spill out into every area of life, this means your teen is struggling much more to control their sadness or anger. It is pervading their life and making it increasingly difficult to function.
Intensity: Teens will experience nearly all the symptoms listed above at some point, usually in thoughts that come and go. For parents, this can seem frustrating as it may be hard to predict a teen’s mood from day to day.
When the sad or negative feelings become chronic, even if they are mild, then parents should be concerned. This can quickly progress from mild, chronic sadness to feelings so intense the teen may be unable to get out of bed or may have suicidal ideations.
Duration: The final area of concern is how long symptoms have persisted. If a teen is sad or angry one day followed by several good days, this is likely nothing to be concerned about. If the breaks seem to be getting shorter, or if the bad mood persists for two weeks or more, it is possible that the teen is suffering from depression and needs professional help.
If you suspect your teenager is experiencing something more than normal teenage emotional upheaval, don’t hesitate to get them professional help. The vast majority of people who get help for depression respond well and recover.
Drag Your Kids Into Nature. It’s Good For Health and Wellbeing
Studies show that spending two hours a week in nature is good for the health and wellbeing of adults and children.
In contrast, spending too much time in front of a screen surrounded by the proverbial concrete jungle is detrimental to psychological and physical wellbeing.
Sitting for long periods with no exercise has been linked to debilitating diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Experts also conclude that too much screen time causes, near-sightedness, insufficient sleep, headaches and obesity – all of which can have a negative effect on the psychological maturity of children.
If your kids are devouring too much screen and not enough green, its high time you dragged them into nature. The short-term and long-term health depends on it.
Connecting with Nature Connects You With People
Several studies have shown that connecting with nature is therapeutic. The Japanese understand this so well that ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku is deeply ingrained in their culture.
Although scientists are not sure how or why, but it appears humans have an intrinsic connection with the natural environment. You probably know from experience that being in the great outdoors restores your energy and vitality.
If you can’t escape the concrete jungle by heading out into the countryside or mountains, take advantage of green spaces near your home. Even playing in the park gives you children an opportunity to connect and socialise with other kids in your neighbourhood – and any type of non-internet related connection is good for their development.
Nature Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Researchers have discovered that being around nature reduces stress, fear and anger. Living in these unprecedented times, children probably feel more emotional and afraid than they might ordinarily.
During the lockdown and school closures, there is also more of a tendency for your children to watch TV more often, playing computer games, or spending more time on social media and the internet. More screen time is potentially damaging to their wellbeing.
Heading out into nature will help to distract their minds from the concerns they have about Covid-19. Being outdoors feels more natural to children, and psychologists recommend that you should try to make life as normal as possible.
Encourages Children To Develop A Healthy Lifestyle
We often take the experiences and habits we develop as children into adulthood. By nature, we are habitual creatures and reenact similar behaviours throughout life.
Teaching the little ones positive and healthy behaviours from an early age stands them in good stead when they get older. Show your children the benefits of being in nature now and they are more likely to make an effort to head for the hills when they are older. They will also be a better influence on their children – your grandchildren.
I appreciate nature walks may not be all that appealing to kids. However, I have a cunning plan. Why not introduce a variety of games to play that are fun, help to educate your kids and give them plenty of exercise. If you need some ideas of fun games to play with children in nature, check out this awesome list.
Mother Care | Great Activities to Help You Unwind
Activities That Mothers Can Do When They Have a Bit of Spare Time
Being a mother is something that is very demanding, and we know that you always want to put your children first, but sometimes it is worth taking the time to consider just how much of a difference a little bit of you time can make. This means that you will need to take a bit of a break from your organized family life to put some more importance on your well-being. So, what activities should you consider when you have some spare time away from your kids? Well, we have taken a look at some of the best ones below.
Go for Some Stress Relief
Contrary to what people like to believe, everyone’s day-to-day family life does not run smoothly with no unexpected setbacks or hassle. In fact, many parents, even the most organized ones, will admit that they have to wing it from time to time. This is something that can end up causing quite a bit of stress. A great way to get rid of unwanted stress is to pay a visit to the local spa. We know that many busy mothers feel that a trip to the spa is impossible due to a lack of free time, but there are now plenty of shorter therapies that you can go and enjoy. For instance, an Indian head massage is great at fighting stress and these last just thirty minutes or so. We are sure that you manage to find the time to pop to the hairdressers every now and then, so we are certain that you will be able to find the time to pay a visit to a spa.
Partake in a Bit of Online Gambling
If you have some spare time and you enjoy gambling, then we highly recommend that you sign up with an online casino. Are you reading this from New Zealand? Then we really suggest that you head on over to https://www.onlinecasinonewzealand.nz/. Here, you will be able to find all of the best online casinos for Kiwis to enjoy as well as a load of great game guides with a lot of valuable information.
Whether you are a fan of slot games or table games, you will definitely be able to find an online casino that suits you down to the ground. The best thing about online casinos is that you can obviously gamble without having to leave your house. So, if you have a bit of spare time because your children are having a nap, you can quickly log into your account and see if you have any luck. If you happen to love a game of bingo, then there are plenty of online bingo websites that you can sign up with and enjoy whenever you have some spare time away from the children.
If you do decide to sign up with one of the online casinos that this site recommends, then it is not an exaggeration to say that you will be doing yourself a big favor.
Chat with Friends or Watch Your Favorite Show
When you are short of time it is great to have a quick conversation with your close friends on the phone or even meet for a quick coffee. Communicating on social media can be quick and you can use the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to catch up with all the things that your online friends have been doing. If you enjoy keeping up with all of the latest trends, then you should take a look at Pinterest. Watching an episode from your favorite show is something that can be fun, as well as relaxing. If you do not have one already, then you should consider getting a Netflix account as you will get access to all the best series for a very reasonable price. When you get an hour or so to yourself, forget about the washing or the cleaning or the dinner and sit down on the sofa and watch whatever series you enjoy.
Solve a Puzzle
If you love solving puzzles, then you will be glad to hear that there are plenty of puzzles on the Internet that you can entertain yourself with. Whether you feel like testing your knowledge with a crossword, testing your brain power with a Sudoku, or seeing how good your vocabulary is by playing a game of scrabble, you have plenty of options online. Or, if none of these are to your liking then maybe you feel like a game of chess. Furthermore, you can play these games on your mobile, tablet, or laptop.
Do Some Cooking
We all know that it can get really boring eating the same dishes over and over again, so when you have some spare time you can find some new recipes that you like the look of and try them out. Thanks to the Internet, there are plenty of delicious recipes on hand from all over the world. No matter what type of cuisine you want to make for your family or what level your cooking skills are, you will be able to find more than enough recipes to keep you busy.
Baby Shower Ideas: What’s a Sip and See?
Baby showers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes these days. You have parties that are all about revealing the gender of a new baby, and traditional parties where men aren’t allowed to attend. One of the more interesting options to emerge in recent months is the Sip and See party.
Essentially, this is a chance to have family members and friends over for a lighthearted party, where they get to meet the new baby or child soon after they’ve been welcomed into the world. These parties are also excellent for welcoming newly adopted children to the family.
A sip and see can be an excellent way for exhausted parents to introduce their new child to everyone at once, rather than arranging multiple visits.
What Should a Sip and See Be Like?
It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between a baby shower and a sip and see. While the typical baby shower happens before the baby arrives, sip and see events happen afterwards. The sip and see needs to be a very casual and quiet event, as you won’t want to upset the new baby. The chances are that there won’t be as many decorations, but there should still be plenty of food and maybe some soft music to enjoy.
Rather than having a venue for this party, you invite everyone to your own house, which means that you don’t have to rush around getting things ready for a party when you have a new baby to look after.
One thing to keep in mind with a Sip and See, is that it’s less likely to have presents or gifts at this event. However, if your mom and dad to be didn’t have a baby shower for any reason, this is a great chance to give them the gifts that you haven’t had chance to get to them before.
What to Consider When Hosting a Sip and See
If you decide to host a sip and see, then there are a lot of things to consider. These parties are often hosted by new parents themselves. However, if you’re a close friend or family member, then your loved one might ask them to host the event on their behalf – particularly if they’re too tired to work out an invite list and catering on their own.
The invite list will usually be down to the parents, and who needs to see the baby most. However, if you’re inviting people on behalf of the parents, you can always ask them if someone enquires about an invitation. Other things to consider while you’re planning are:
- Refreshments: The word “sip” indicates that there’s going to be some kind of refreshments. Think afternoon tea, rather than elaborate meals and lots of alcohol.
- Time frame: Make sure that people know exactly when the party is going to start, and when they’ll need to leave. Don’t leave it to the new parents to usher people out of the door when the new baby needs to go to sleep.
- Decorations: It’s fun to have decorations at any party, but you’ll want to keep these to a minimum in this case. Guests will be coming to see the baby, and the parents won’t want to have to spend forever cleaning up once people have gone.
- Games and entertainment: If you don’t want everyone to be waiting in a line to hold the baby or see the new arrival, you can introduce some games. People who are waiting around for their chance to see the new child could simply chat over some finger foods, however
Enjoying your Sip and See Party
A sip and see party is a fantastic chance to take some pressure off new parents, who are often expected to parade their child around and show them off to countless people. With this kind of party, you can take the pressure off the parents, and invite people to come and visit on a specific day and time.
If you’re helping parents that you’re close to with this party, one of the best things that you can do is assist with the tidying up portion of the event before and after the party. The mom and dad are going to be looking after the baby, so they’ll definitely want some help making sure that everything looks spic and span.
It’s also helpful to have some hand sanitiser at the door, so that visitors can get their hands clean before touching the child.