Teen Mental Health: Family Dynamics & Mixed Messages
The image of the “perfect” family we often witness on TV is far from reality.
All parents want to see their children succeed and live a long, healthy life. However, life’s challenges may come in the way and disrupt your plans. Most of the time, these difficulties are unavoidable, while others may be the result of actions and experiences your child faces.
Even the healthiest of families can have frustrating and painful interactions among family members, whether due to dramatic arguments or buried resentment and anger. These relationships can significantly affect children’s and teenagers’ behaviour, mental health, and physical health.
While misunderstandings in a family are normal, sending too many mixed messages confuses teenagers, whereas the constant change in perspective may cause sadness, irritability, and tension within the family dynamics.
Improved communication, awareness, and intentionality can greatly reduce mixed messages while also providing teens with a healthy model to rely on in future relationships.
The Effects of Mixed Messages on Teen’s Mental Health
Teenagers are incredibly vulnerable to what others say and the environment they’re in.
Communication is a key component of a successful, healthy family. It’s essential to understand that communication doesn’t just come in the form of words but behaviour and language as well.
The use of negative words sends the same message of having no communication at all. The way parents talk and act to their kids can impact their development.
Teenagers and young adults may begin to develop anxiety or depression after being subjected to poor family communication, which includes, keeping secrets, blaming, and labelling someone as bad rather than the behaviour itself.
Many parents have developed a “poker face” of sorts that’s meant to protect their children from what they’re actually feeling. However, saying that you feel fine when clearly there’s something wrong causes teens to feel unnecessary worry and fear and leads to stress.
The Importance of Communication and Adapting to Family Dynamics
The way we communicate and interact with family members strongly influences how we view ourselves and the world around us. Family dynamics can severely impact our mental health, in both negative and positive ways.
Many are unaware of how those dynamics affect their emotional well-being as well as non-familial relationships, which is why recognizing the impact of family roles on our behaviour is vital.
Growing up in an unhealthy and dysfunctional environment instills harmful traits in teens that can be difficult to grow out of. With professional help, you can begin to understand how these dynamics have affected your behaviour and work towards healing and making empowered decisions.
Though it may seem easier to look away rather than addressing a problem with a family member, ignoring the issue will make matters worse.
When you effectively communicate with family members, you’ll be able to better understand their actions and feelings. By opening the lines of communication, you can all work together to solve the problem that’s negatively affecting you.
Learn To Adapt to Your Family Dynamics With Capital Choice Youth Counselling
Navigating the ups and downs during teenage years and making difficult choices is a challenge we must all go through, but that doesn’t mean we have to endure them alone.
Our expert therapists at Capital Choice Youth Counselling in Ottawa offer a variety of services for teenagers and parents to help them with any problems they are experiencing. From issues of self-esteem to internet addiction, we are here to help guide you through these tough times.
Reach out to us to learn more about our counselling services and begin your journey towards healing today.