This Christmas may seem exceptionally challenging for teenagers. It’s a time where friendships outside the family are a priority. Here are 3 Christmas tips to help you support your teens:
- Talk about and plan this Christmas break together. This helps in two ways. Firstly, it can give space to share internalised feelings (anger, sadness at not being able to socialise with friends and family) and for these feelings to be accepted. Don’t brush over them or minimise them: give them air and time. Secondly, in a year where many decisions have been out of their control they can help make some decisions about Christmas. Do they have any ideas what they would like to do as a family or group over this different Christmas, or any ideas for new Christmas traditions? This can bring positive feelings about the Christmas break.
- The end of the year is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the year gone and how resilient you have been as a family or group. Why not find a way to look back together as a family. What were the highlights of the year? What helped you all get through the more challenging times? How did you look after yourselves when things felt difficult?
- Let them know you are available if they want to talk. You don’t need answers or solutions, just listening is enough.
These two weeks can be a positive and refreshing time for us and our teens. Bring them into the journey to help them process and reflect, ready for a new year.
Some teenagers will be struggling to cope with the emotional and mental burden #covid has put on them. Our counselling services for young people can help them develop coping strategies and see a way forward.