All Kinds of News for April 09, 2019
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent disorders treated at Turn-About Ranch, a residential treatment center for adolescents. Turn-About Ranch successfully helps students develop and use effective coping strategies. While each person is unique and requires an individualized treatment plan, there are basic principles that can help teens reduce the debilitating impact of anxiety.
ReNae Singletary, LCSW, has been a therapist at Turn-About Ranch since 2011 and offers nearly 30 years of professional insight for the adolescents in her care. Recognizing that “change takes time and patience,” ReNae coaches parents to develop skillsets necessary to continue providing needed support to their teen when they return home. A selection of ReNae’s practical advice for parents dealing with anxious teens at home is offered below.
- Help kids to identify and communicate the sources of their fear/anxiety. The type of support they need will depend on the situations associated with the anxiety.
- Parents need to manage their own emotional reaction to both real and imagined stressors in their children’s lives and resist the urge to help them avoid the stress. Instead, use the opportunity to teach them how to better handle the stress. When we make it better for them, we actually rescue them from their own growth. Our confidence in our children’s abilities influences the confidence they have for themselves.
- Consequence inappropriate behavior but not anxiety. We cannot consequence, scold or talk our children out of their anxiety. Talk about it when the anxiety subsides.
- “Lean” into things that trigger the anxiety. When we approach the thing that triggered the fear and tolerate or overcome it, we reduce its power and increase confidence in our ability to overcome challenges.
- Help teens to commit to use of healthy coping skills. In the early stages, healthy skills take more work than the unhealthy alternatives like avoidance, substance abuse, or anger. Confidence and the willingness to use healthy coping skills grows with even the smallest victories over anxiety.
- Foster independence in using healthy coping skills. A list that they carry with them will give them a memory prompt until using coping skills becomes second nature.
Anxiety is one of the most pervasive disorders for teens today. Parents need all the help they can get to guide their children through the pitfalls that accompany the stresses they encounter. There are countless other tidbits of advice, but the parent willing to DO even one of the principles mentioned will have a significant influence on his or her child’s ability to overcome the crippling effects of anxiety.
About Turn-About Ranch
Turn-About Ranch is a wilderness therapy and residential treatment program located in the heart of Southern Utah’s canyon country. Students experience life on a real working ranch while undergoing treatment to improve their life back home. Surrounded by multiple national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Turn-About Ranch is the ideal location for youth of today to have the space they need to find healing and purpose.