Everyone, not just teens, can find themselves losing hope when faced with sudden and threatening world news. Our current COVID-19 pandemic has people of all ages filled with anxiety and struggling to remain hopeful amongst the constant stream of worrisome global news updates.
Teens already struggle with numerous anxieties including bullying, low self-esteem, grades, lack of parental support and more. A pandemic. like the one the world is currently facing, will add even more anxiety to an already overflowing bucket of worries. Without actively developing the key life skill of hope a teen may begin to feel like they are drowning in their anxieties leading to depression and other mental health concerns.
As parents when we are faced with challenging circumstances ourselves it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own feelings and miss the important cues from our teens that they are anxious and losing hope. It’s important to take time to help your teen discover the power of hope.
Here are a few ways you can help your teen remain hopeful:
- Provide a Safe Place: If you notice your teen being moody or withdrawn don’t brush it off. Instead offer them a safe, judgement free space to share their feelings.
- Listen: If your teen begins to confide in you their worries try to simply listen and let them talk. Do not make them feel their worries are silly or insignificant. Just listen and be empathetic.
- Confide: Help your teen understand they are not alone with their worries by confiding in them some of your own worries. Explain what you do to help ease these worries. Offer guidance on how to persevere despite challenges with examples of challenges you have overcome.
- Offer Insight: Hope is something that you can choose to have. Hope helps a person believe in a better future and is a very important life skill to develop before reaching adulthood. Help your teen feel hopeful by pointing out any positives you can see about their current challenge. Work together to identify a plan of action that will help them use their own talents to persevere.
- Be a Role Model: If your teen sees you getting upset or losing hope in a situation yourself, they will begin to act in the same way. Instead let your teen see you exercising, meditating, finding the good in each challenge, making a plan-of-action in order to persevere, etc.
A Message from MakeYouThink
With the current coronavirus pandemic many people around the world are feeling hopeless; teens and children included. MakeYouThink has been a strong advocate of the importance in developing key life skills such as hope, perseverance, self-discipline, and more. Each of our lessons feature hard-hitting, engaging videos and resources to help teens learn key life skills for a successful future. Educators, counselors, coaches, parents and leaders around the world have seen the positive effects from the social emotional learning lessons included within the MakeYouThink Life Skills Program. We encourage you to let our program help you help your teen – whether it’s through the one-lesson option or the entire program. We’re all in this together. Together we can make a difference.