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The Easter break provides an ideal opportunity to reconnect with your anxious teen.

Sadly, anxiety can have a detrimental effect on the relationship between parents and their teens. Over the Easter break, a natural break from everyday pressures brings with it an opportunity to find moments to re-connect.

If you are a parent with an anxious teen, I am guessing that a break is very much needed as when anxiety is around, everyday family life can become fraught and full of worries and dilemmas for you as parents.

Do you frequently find yourself weighing up different ways of handling everyday situations?

Do you find yourself thinking.....

"should I push them forward because they need to start doing more and I do worry what will happen if they don't?"


"should I just hug them and let them stay away from what is upsetting them?"


"should I take something off them as a consequence for not doing what they should be doing?

Facing these dilemmas day after day can be very stressful. For many of us, the next few days provide a natural break from school, perhaps from work and some of the everyday life pressures and therefore present an opportunity to put these dilemmas to one side. I am aware that for many young people exams and of course the return to school are around the corner, and so now it feels important to use this break to find a moment of calm and connection.

It is really common for anxiety to have a detrimental effect on your relationship with your teen as your encouragement and reassurance can result in a push back and lead to arguments. Over the next few days, with less pressure around, it could be the ideal time to re-connect. And so I wanted to share a few ideas of how you might do this....

  • find a moment to have a brief chat, let them know you would love to spend a little time together, give them a hug. Promise (and mean it) you are not going to bring up anything that creates stress for them such as school, work, friends - anything they don't want to consider.

  • ask if they would be up for doing a little something together (nothing that is going to trigger anxiety).

  • ask if they have any ideas.....

  • if not, make some suggestions....

  • don't pick anything that is going to trigger their anxiety - this is about finding a no pressure, easy to do, calm or fun activity you can share.

  • consider things in the house like baking a cake, watching a TV show or film together, playing a game on a games console or even a board game, drawing or doing some art together, doing some exercise or dancing.

  • consider things outside of the house such as a trip to the cinema, bowling, a walk in the park or away from the local area, playing pool at a local pub, swimming.

  • let them know there is no pressure, would just be nice to spend time together even its just half an hour or so.

  • if they say no to any of your ideas perhaps ask if you can just hang out in their room for a few minutes listening to the music they like.

I'm sure you can think of many more things you could do together but my hope is that you find a moment to connect in a no-pressure way ahead of the pressures that will inevitably return over the coming weeks.

Happy Easter Break,

Dr Beck x


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