Last Thursday 16 June, our College counsellor, Natalie Dickson, presented to approximately 70 parents in the College theatre on the subject of teen anxiety and the best ways to deal with this as a parent. For those who were unable to attend, the below chart on What You Say/What Your Teen Hears/Better Phrasing may be a very helpful tool.
If you need additional support, here’s a list of places you can utilise.
Natalie made the point that when she began as a school counsellor 16 years ago, ‘anxiety’ was not a widespread phenomenon—now, it would make up a significant portion of her caseload.
Why is this such an issue for young people now?
While there is more than one factor at play, the ubiquity and accompanying effects of mobile devices–and with that, social media—is the clear reason. Mobile devices and social media have undoubtedly had positive impacts on our lives, but in the hands of young people who can be vulnerable and lacking in the skills to navigate the online world, their unchecked use has clearly led to many of the issues young people face today.
While most parents will not find it practical to withdraw devices from their child entirely, it is important to maintain the understanding that parents are still in charge. A conversation with your child about your concerns is a good way to approach a re-setting of expectations around how, when and where their device is being used.
In addition to the above, the SchoolTV videos are an excellent resource for our families.