10. They Need You and Your Story
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While you can take them to the skate park or stop by the ice cream shop for a spontaneous treat, what will bridge the gap between you, your teen, and any misunderstandings around mental health, is you. That's right, you. Though everyone isn't plagued with clinical anxiety, depression, or other mental health diagnoses, us adults can't say we've lived our entire lives worry-free, fear-free, able to navigate the unknown with total ease and grace.
As a parent, you want to be a positive example for your children, you want to be the physical embodiment of what to do. But may I let you in on a secret? Sometimes, you need to be vulnerable, dig deep into your own skeletons in your closet, and share your hardships with your teen. That's not to say you should be graphic or explicit with details, no need for excess in that department. But if you struggled with anxiety, let them know. If you battle depression even as an adult, let them know. As much as you want them to see you navigating life like a champ, they are aware of your flaws too. No need to hide them when you could use them to bridge the gap so your teen knows they aren't alone in their own mental health battles.
Together, you can hold one another accountable to not only seek help on earth but to ask for heavenly wisdom from God as you look for ways to thrive amid a mental health trial.
More than anything, your teen needs you--not just who you are on a good day, but who you are in the hard times when God's strength is what gets you through the day. Your vulnerability is your testimony to your children. Use this gift wisely.
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You can read Rhonda's full article here!