Welcome back to our continued look at parents and depression during the school year. In our previous post, we discussed why so many parents seem to struggle with back to school. Whether the return to routine is difficult or they are mourning their baby heading off to kindergarten and leaving the house empty, the start of the school year brings about change and a full range of emotions. Parents of middle school aged children are reporting increased rates of depression, emptiness, and loneliness. If you need a psychologist in Columbus, OH to help you with move past your depression issues, call Legacy Freedom.
The researchers from Arizona State University were shocked by the statistics that show the overall parenting satisfaction level of those parents who had children in middle school dropped significantly. One would think that the parents of infants or toddlers would experience less satisfaction. However, the data proved otherwise. Even parents of high school students, preschoolers and elementary aged children reported higher levels of satisfaction than those of middle school parents.
Every child is different and every parent's experience with the tween years is different. While some kids experience this time of significant change with nothing more than a few growing pains and some difficult lessons, others struggle with finding their identity and rising to meet more challenging academic coursework and difficult social situations. These pre-teens are struggling with complicated emotions that they don't understand. As a result, they are often moody and downtrodden at home and happy-go-lucky with friends. The back and forth can be maddening for parents.
The level of dissatisfaction these parents feel is exacerbated by tensions that build with their adolescent children. Many parents struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression as their children push them away and begin to develop their own independence. The rapidly changing dynamics in the household can be equally stressful for child and parents. If you are feeling unsatisfied with the parenting of your preteen or are feeling the strain, anxiety or depression that accompanies this difficult time, the tips below may help you navigate this difficult period:
- Pick an ally - Find a parent who is going through the same struggles with their middle schooler. Comparing notes, sharing struggles and reassuring each other can help lessen the anxiety that comes with this tough transitional period.
- Keep the struggle to a minimum - Choose to stick to your guns when it really matters. Make your rules clear and few. Being open to negotiation means that your preteen will be more willing to communicate with you. If you can, say yes or compromise with them.
- Don't nag - Make your point or request and then leave it alone. Harping on the same point over and over is cause for unnecessary irritation. Give your kid the opportunity to make the right choice or do the right thing. They may surprise you.
- Stop just being a parent - If the loss of your dependent elementary schooler has you feeling down, embrace your independence and find things that you enjoy. Adopting new hobbies or pursuing new interests can give you something to use to break the ice with your moody middle schooler.
Remember that this phase in your child's life won't last forever, but if your depression is worsening or your anxiety is increasing it's time to reach out to Legacy Freedom of Columbus.
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Our expert staff can help you get to the root of your anxiety or depression. Together with your care team, you will learn new ways to cope with these lingering issues. Group therapy, alternative therapy, and traditional one-on-one therapy make our holistic approach to your mental health care needs unique.
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