Parents may be stressed out when they are laid off. Even high school students worry when their family is in a difficult financial situation. Here are some tips to help your teens cope in hard times.
How economic downturns affect teens’ sense of safety
- When they don’t feel safe, they may have problems sleeping or having difficulty focusing.
- They may want to give up.
- They may feel worried, sad, or angry and may avoid their friends and family.
- They may become more irritable, argue more with others, use drugs or alcohol, or get into trouble.
- The challenges in their lives may feel bigger and even harder to deal with.
Helping your teen feel safe
- Make sure they keep to their routine as much as possible (get enough sleep; eat regularly; drink plenty of water; exercise regularly).
- Spend time with family and friends. Don’t let them cut themselves off from loved ones.
How economic downturns keep them from feeling calm
- They may feel frustrated, afraid, angry and hopeless.
Helping teens ease the stress
- Have them talk about their concerns with a trusted friend, family member, teacher or counselor.
- Exercise daily.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Write in a journal.
How economic downturns affect a teen’s sense of connectedness
- Teens can feel worthless and even humiliated when they can’t find a job or lose one.
- They may isolate themselves from others.
- They could feel that they don’t belong.
- They may not want to talk about their problems.
What to do if they don’t feel connected
- Identify friends, family, and other adults they trust and like spending time with.
- Look at how their social life has changed since they have been concerned with not having enough money.
How economic downturns keeps them from having hope
- They may feel discouraged, hopeless about the situation, and angry with people in positions of power.
- They may blame themselves for being out of work.
How do I help them regain hope?
- Help them regain their belief that things will work out.
- Have them ask someone they respect how he or she has maintained hope in troubled times.
- Have them learn the facts about the current economy, so they don’t act on people’s opinions.
(Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network and compiled by EdNews Parent intern Christina Onpeng)
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