You are trying your best. You’d give anything and go anywhere just so your son or daughter gets better. It seems that you’ve tried everything. You can’t think of anything else. You wish you could do more but it seems there is a limit to how much a parent is able to do when your loved one suffers with a condition such as an eating disorder, self harm, severe depression, anxiety, OCD.
You want to keep going. You are running out of ideas. You don’t know what else to do, how else to help. Despite trying so hard and doing your best, all you get is: “Leave me alone”
My clients find that this is one of the toughest part of caring for a young person with mental health conditions that are mainly caused by anxiety.
They tell me in the one to one sessions that they recognize they are desperate for their son or daughter to recover and that sometimes they can’t help but take over. That often ends up being counterproductive.
Might they be trying too hard?
And how might your teenager perceive it?
There certainly are times when you need to make decisions for them but there will also be occasions when it’s your teenager that wants to be in charge.
They will be grateful to you for giving them some responsibility over decision making.
By taking a step back, allowing yourself some room to breathe and giving your son or daughter some independence may be challenging, however it will be very much appreciated by them.
Giving the right amount of support can be rather tricky. Finding the balance between helping and avoiding overwhelm can take a while to learn.
If you want to help your teenager and also show them you are there for them, here is what to do:
- Allow them to make some decisions. There will be a point at which no matter how much you want something for your loved one, it will be their choice whether they go along. They want to feel that they can make decisions.
- Support them without being overbearing. Teenagers can be very sensitive, particularly when suffering with a mental health condition. Showing them you’re there for them and giving them space without them feeling suffocated will have a great effect.
- Spend time together without focusing on the issue. Your son or daughter knows how much you care about them and how much you worry. But sometimes they want you to forget about it and just have a good time together so you can both switch off.
Over to you
What’s your experience? How easy do you find it to give your teenager space? Are you able to spend time together without focusing on the issue? Please, share your thoughts.
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If you need help with challenges caused by your loved one’s conditions or would like to find out about my one to one sessions, contact me for a free consultation on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07946611467.