Be the Safe, Responsible Adult in Your Teen's Life

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Last week, I did three Facebook Lives all about How to Create a Coping Ahead Plan. These events were so much fun and each video is jampacked with tons of information!

For those who have no clue what I'm talking about- you can download a copy of the plan here.

ICYMI I thought the information in these videos were too good not to share with you. You can watch each of the videos by clicking the following links:

Day 1 - What the Heck is a Coping Ahead Plan?

Day 2 - Coping Skills for When You Reach Your TIPPing Point

Day 3 - Asking for Help Using DEARMAN

Now of course, I'm not going to leave you hanging this week- I have another *BONUS* tip I want to include as a wrap up for these FB Lives.

This Week's Parent Tip: Be the Safe, Responsible Adult

It's inevitable that when a friend is suffering, your caring teen is going to want to help. However, as a teen themselves, they aren't fully equipped to handle all of their own problems, let alone the heavy problems of a friend (that's why awesome parents like you exist).

Your Teens are All Amazing!

With very little guidance from me, the girls in one of my groups all gave these amazing tips and strategies to handle a situation like this.

1- Let your friend know you care about her, but you're not a trained professional.

 Reminding your friend that you care about them is super important! However, reminding them Hey- I'm still a kid too can be really important in helping with tip #2.

2- Tell a safe, responsible adult.

Talking to a Parent, School Counselor, Therapist, or another safe, responsible adult is key. The girls gave the helpful strategy of offering to go with your friend to the school counselor or school social worker to be a support. Asking for help is scary- doing it alone can be even scarier! 

3- Provide crisis and emergency numbers if they need help sooner than you can reply.

Making sure you, your teen, and your teen's friend know the crisis and emergency numbers is also really important in these situations. In CT, we're fortunate to have a state-wide crisis line kids and their families can access 24/7 by dialing 211.

Other helpful numbers to know are:

  • US National Crisis Text Line: 741-741
  • US National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • And in the case of a physical emergency, there's always 911 

4- Share what coping strategies help you in a tough time.

One strategy that often gets overlooking is also talking about what else does work in a healthier way. The girls shared they find holding an ice cube, running cool water on their forearm, and doing something distracting are all strategies they love to use when they're dealing with a  difficult, overwhelming emotion. 

Weekly Challenge: Have a talk with your daughter and remind them that you are a safe, responsible adult in their life they can talk with if they, or someone they know, are having a difficult time. When you're done- include an "I DID IT!" in the comments below.

Want even more positive influences in your teen's life? A brand new group of girls just started another Teen Girls Therapy Group in the new Wednesdays at 4:30pm time and it was AWESOME!

If you want to secure your teen's spot- complete your complimentary 15-min parent phone screening at 203-228-8971 or completing the contact form here.

Mallory Grimste, LCSW - Teen Therapist

Mental Health Counseling for Anxious Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults | Woodbridge, CT