We don’t have to tell you how crazy of a year it’s been. With elections, pandemic restrictions, and the hectic world of parenting during it all… we’ve been through a lot! Before the Christmas-holiday rush kicks in, take some time for a mental health check-in with yourself and your teen.
Though holidays can be a joyful time, they can also be a stressful time. So, take a moment to breathe and make sure you’re ready to dive into the next few weeks. As for your kids, they may be flying high with excitement for gifts, feeling down because of social or family problems, or somewhere in between. Let them know that wherever they’re at, you’re here for them and you care for their well-being.
How are you?
With life rushing around us, sometimes we forget to check in with ourselves. Create a space to just breathe and meditate on these questions. Even the best parents need to take a break now and then. And remember, it’s okay to not be okay. Do your best to answer these questions truthfully without brushing over any problems you’re experiencing right now.
- How have you been feeling this week? Why?
- How would you describe your mental health during 2020? Has it gotten better or worse?
- Have you been stressed lately? If so, why? How can you best get through this stress?
- What have you done recently that’s relaxing?
- Have you taken time for yourself this week? If not, how can you make time for yourself before the week is over?
- Is there anything you’ve been avoiding that you need to address? How can you start dealing with this issue?
- What is something you’re looking forward to?
- Who is your go-to person when you’re stressed or feeling down?
- What are some practical ways you can improve your mental health?
Checking in with your teen
Now that you’ve checked in with yourself, it’s time to connect with your kids. This year has undoubtedly been stressful for them. Even if they’re struggling with something that you can’t fix, make sure that you’re not overlooking something big that’s bothering them. And if they’re doing well, celebrate that with them! Whatever the case, make sure they know they’re not alone, you care about them, and that you want them to be at their best.
- Is there anything you’re excited about in the coming weeks? Is there anything you’re dreading?
- What have you been stressed about lately?
- Do you feel supported by me? Why or why not?
- Do you feel supported by your friends? Why or why not?
- Do you feel like you have a positive or negative mindset?
- Is there anything you feel like you’re missing out on? Is there anything I can do to help change this?
- How is your workload? Do you feel like you manage your work and free time well?
- How is your sleeping schedule? Do you feel like you get too much or too little sleep?
- Do you feel healthy physically? Are you getting enough exercise or time outside?
- How have you taken care of yourself this week?
- What do you do to relax? When was the last time you did this?
- What do you feel like you need the most right now?
- How is your spiritual life? Do you feel connected or distanced from God?
- How can I best encourage you?
- Do you appreciate having mental health check-ins? What is the best way I can connect with you about your health?
Did these questions help you and your teen? Let us know in the comments any encouragement you have for your fellow parents who may be going through a hard time! And as always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-719-AXIS with any questions and prayer requests you may have.
- Mental Health Check-In: Questions to Ask Your Kid
- 14 Stress-Relief Tips and Resources
- 5 Ways You and Your Teen Can Connect with God through Prayer