Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2019

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Page 14 of 43 n Hudson Valley Parent 15 A series answering parents' toughest questions when raising a teen Keep the conversation going. See the complete article and get tips to help raise your teens at Dr. Paul Schwartz Professor of psychology and education Kristina Lasher Mother of two from Poughkeepsie Starting the conversation can be the hardest part, but it is critical to begin discussions with your teen about depression and available treatment options as soon as possible. It's important to make time to be together without an agenda or pressure. Focus on listening, not lecturing. Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgement once your teenager begins to talk. Acknowledge your teen's feelings. Well-meaning attempts to explain why "things aren't that bad" will just come across as you not taking their emotions seriously. Acknowledge their pain to make them feel supported. Help your child understand that things can change, and they won't always feel the way they do today. There is never a convenient time to start the conversation about suicide. Make sure you are calm, non-accusatory and express your concern for their well-being. It's important for parents to spend quality time with ther teens so they can notice when there are changes in their personality or behavior. Ask questions to understand what your teen already knows or believes about suicide to determine the next step of the conversation. It's important to put things in terms a teenager will understand without making them feel like a child. Each child may feel depressed for different reasons. It is up to the parents to hold loving conversations to help their child understand that life is worth living. How do I talk to my teen about depression and suicide prevention? Summer Pre-College Experience campus life and earn college credits!

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