Feel your feelings AND think things through.
The new school year can bring a lot of different emotions for your teens. The start of new classes, shifting peer relations, and a whole new set of schedules. These changes can set your teens on an emotional rollercoaster. And let’s face it, it’s not easy going along for the ride.
As parents it can be exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden twists and turns in our teens lives. So what’s the solution? How can you ever help your teen to find balance?
Luckily, there are ways to manage the hills of the roller coaster without having to go upside down at full speed. In DBT, teens learn how to balance the three different states of mind: the emotional mind, the rational mind and the wise mind.
The emotional mind is the state where your teen thinks and acts on their feelings. This may look like making decisions in the heat of the moment, without thinking through things. This is where most teens get stuck!
The rational mind is based in facts. In this state of mind, your teen thinks things through by analyzing the situation in full detail.
In DBT, teens work to find the balance of these two minds, which results in the wise mind. This middle ground is a skill taught to help teens feel their feelings and think things through at the same time. It helps teens to acknowledge they can do both, and in turn have better, more effective outcomes.
Let’s use the beginning of school year as an example. Your teen comes home and is extremely upset about not having any “friends” at their lunch period. Your teen is afraid to sit with someone new.
Your teen feels:
All of these feelings create the perfect storm for an emotional rollercoaster. To prevent from taking off, help your teen slow down. Mindfulness is key to helping teens slow down, breathe and be present.
By slowing down, you can help them see it is okay to feel upset AND try something new by sitting with a new face. You can help your teen weigh in on both sides to come to a solution that is more balanced and reasonable