Despite all of the love and care you give to your child, there are some things that are just out of your control when it comes to their wellbeing. One of these things, is depression. During their teen years especially, your child could begin to experience feelings of depression. One in five teenagers, from all walks of life, experience major depression. It can be hard to relate to your depressed daughter, and communicating with her may feel like an impossible task. It’s so important that you push through this and let her know that you’re there for her. She may not seem like it, but your support is one of the most helpful things you can give her.
Listen, don’t lecture
You may feel like you know how to solve your child’s problems, but you need to resist the urge to chastise, judge, or criticize your daughter. If your child opens up to you and talks, just listen. It’s important that they feel comfortable communicating their feelings to you, so be gentle with their feelings, and just listen instead of telling them how to solve their problems or how you would handle the situation better. If they’re talking to you about their feelings, chances are that they aren’t seeking advice, but just someone to talk to.
When you’re trying to talk to your teen, they’re probably going to shut you out. Don’t take it personally. Be gentle as you persist. You don’t want to be pushy. Even if they want to tell you how they’re feeling, they may not know how to properly discuss with you or how to communicate their thoughts and feelings to you. Be respectful of their comfort level and gently encourage them to open up to you.
Validate their feelings
You can’t talk your teenager out of depression, no matter how much you’d like to be able to. You’re in a different phase of life than they are, so try not to discount their feelings if their concerns seem silly or insignificant to you. To you, they may seem trivial, but to them, they’re worrisome and painful. Don’t disregard their feelings, take their emotions seriously. Don’t try to convince them that “things aren’t that bad”, because that won’t change the way they feel. It will just make them feel like it’s not worth trying to communicate their feelings to you, because all they really want is to be validated.