An anxious teen may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Striving for perfection and fearing failure
- Excessive worrying
- Sleep difficulties
- Headaches or stomach problems when faced with new tasks or environments
- Excessive need for reassurance
- Fear of tests or being assessed
- Being shy and having social anxiety
- Fearful of new or unfamiliar situations
One of the pitfalls to modifying teen behaviour is barking at your teen that things are not that bad or there are more ways to skin a cat. To them, in their world it is BAD! If you have an anxious teen, especially during COVID-19 some useful strategies would be to work on building resilience through the 5 Rs:
Respect – Acknowledge with your teen that their feelings are REAL (whether it’s perceived or not) and let them know that it’s ok to feel this way and that together you’ll both get through this.
Responsibility – Let your teen know that they have the power within to work through what’s causing them anxiety and distress.
Re-frame – Get your teen to flip the negative thoughts over to a positive thought. We’re not dismissing the thought, but merely changing how the teen looks at it.
Readjust – Once the thought has been flipped, now is the time to readjust the sails.
Renew – Now that the thoughts have been squashed and less serious, it’s time to face the world with a renewed outlook on life.
If you’d like more information on how you can avoid the 7 mistakes parents make when modifying teen behaviour you can down load my e-book.