You Need Help Too: How Parents of Teens can Seek Counseling for Themselves
Sometimes it feels like parenting may be the hardest job in the world, or at least the most emotionally draining. You are tasked with raising this new human being in an often-difficult world, attempting to guide and influence her in the best way possible while simultaneously coming to terms with the fact that there is only so much any parent can do. Just as there are no perfect people, there are no perfect parents — mistakes seem to be baked into the process.
For the parents of the troubled teen, the stress and fatigue can be double, and frequently overwhelming. Parents of these teens are well advised to seek help for themselves, so that they can be the best parents possible during their daughter’s rough patch, and also so they can live their own best lives. Here are some options to ensure that everyone is getting the counsel, and counseling, they need:
The overwhelmed parent may want to seek the services of a family therapist. This can include a spouse, a child, or all children. Family therapy creates a safe space to discuss awkward topics and ask the tough questions. A family therapist can provide a neutral party or “sounding board” to aid in open, safe communication, and possibly offer constructive guidance or options for a healthier home environment..
No matter how committed a parent you are, there is more to life than just your child — or at least there should be. A parent might suffer from depression and anxiety ,financial stresses, professional pressures or social pressures; and there may well be unresolved issues from his, her or their own childhood, not to mention possibly struggling with addictions or other issues.
The best parent is a healthy, well-rounded adult.
Then there are parental support groups. These can be used as standalone support, or also in tandem with professional help. As 12-Step groups have been proving for decades, there can be great power and benefit found in the empathy and experience of a group of people in similar circumstances.
Support groups like these can provide new perspectives, opportunities to share in front of sympathetic people who can relate and show the struggling parent that he or she is not alone. That in and of itself can give a lot of solace and strength.
Parents should never hesitate seeking help for themselves if it’s needed. Taking care of themselves is a valuable thing when the complexities of life with a teen, troubled or not, can seem overwhelming. It also will make them better parents in the long run.