How to tell if your teen is troubled

Teenagers can be very sensitive, and it is important to take note of any irregular emotional changes they go through. PHOTO: Pixabay
Teenagers can be very sensitive, and it is important to take note of any irregular emotional changes they go through. PHOTO: Pixabay

Here are some signs to look out for that could indicate your teen may be going through a difficult time.

Mood changes

Look out for withdrawal, temper and extreme mood swings that may be causing trouble at school or at home.

Behaviour changes

Be aware of any instances your teenager could be acting out of character, not meeting curfews or coming home immediately after school. Take note if they no longer show interest in things they used to like and care for.

Secretiveness

Avoiding the answering of questions, or no longer confiding in you or tell you what is going on in their lives is also a key indicator.

 What you can do to help

It is important not to downplay your teenagers issues that they currently face. It might seem futile to you, but to them, it’s a mountain.

Try to identify the cause, or think back to when they started acting strange. Behavioural changes don’t just happen overnight. A recent event or even peer pressure may have triggered it all.

Listen & talk, be patient whilst they are talking to you, and hold back from jumping in and advising them too soon. Make sure they know that you are there for them and not there to judge.

Seeking professional help is a recommended option, as places such as The South African Depression and Anxiety Group and Southern African Association of Youth Clubs  are equipped to help teenagers that are going through a hard time.

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