5 Ways to Support the Highly Sensitive Teen in Your Life: Expert Tips from a Teen Therapist in Grand Rapids,Michigan
You have a highly sensitive teen, and you want to help them navigate the landscape of their adolescent years. But they feel things more deeply and intensely than their peers, making it difficult to know how best to support them. You want to support them in a way that lets them know this is a safe space to express themselves. That you’ll always be there for them. Here are five ways that you can help your highly sensitive teen thrive:
Help Them Develop Healthy Coping Skills with Tools Taught by Therapists in MI
As you have probably noticed, your highly sensitive teen tends to be more reactive than their peers. They feel emotions more deeply, and it can be difficult for them to manage these intense feelings. This is why they need to learn coping skills and techniques that will help them regulate their emotions. Work with your teen to develop an emotional toolbox. This can include deep breathing exercises, journaling their feelings, or other activities to help them manage their emotions. These techniques will help your teen release their emotions in a healthy, productive way.
Create Space for Open Communication
Your teen may not always want to talk about their feelings, but it is important to create a space for them or to open up. This means you need to prepare yourself to listen without judgment or criticism. By creating an environment that encourages your teen to express themselves freely, they may feel more comfortable being honest about what is going on in their life. This open communication can help your teen feel heard and understood, which can lead to a deeper connection between the two of you.
Validate Their Feelings
When your teen expresses their emotions, it is important to validate them. This means recognizing how they feel without diminishing how they feel or downplaying it. When you validate your highly sensitive teenager’s feelings, it lets them know that you understand and empathize with what they are going through. You can also summarize what they are saying to ensure you are not misunderstanding their emotions. It also shows that you actively listen and understand where they are coming from.
Also, letting your teen know that being highly sensitive can be both a strength and a challenge can make them feel more secure in their identity. It’s important to remind them that what makes them unique can be used as a personal growth and understanding tool. It can help them recognize their feelings and healthily process them.
As a highly sensitive person, your teen will need to take the time for self-care. They are more likely to get tired more easily than their peers and need more time to decompress. Encourage your teen to find activities that help them relax and unwind after a long day at school, work, or activities. This can be anything from taking a walk in nature, meditating, listening to music, or even just spending some time alone reading or doing something they enjoy.
Self-Care is also important for their physical health and well-being. This means ensuring your teen gets enough sleep, eats healthy meals, and stays active. For example, encourage them to get involved in physical activities that they enjoy and find relaxing, such as biking or swimming. This will help them to stay energized and mentally healthy.
Set Boundaries Together
When setting boundaries it can be hard to set boundaries with friends, loved ones, and peers. This means you need to help them set these boundaries and stick to them. It can be hard as a teen with social pressure along with the feeling of needing to people please. This is why you can work with your teen to set guidelines and expectations regarding their relationships, activities, and other areas of life.
When you create boundaries together, your teen will learn to take ownership of their emotions and decisions. This will help them to be more assertive and confident in expressing their needs. For example, if your teen is overwhelmed with schoolwork and activities, they may need to set boundaries with their peers. Learning to say no to certain after-school activities, like getting ice cream or hanging out at the mall, can help them develop their own mental health. It teaches them to prioritize their mental health and not get overwhelmed with everyday life.
Begin Working with a Therapist for your Highly Sensitive Teenager in Michigan
Your highly sensitive teen will appreciate having a safe space to express themselves without being judged. Support can go a long way in helping them to feel secure, but sometimes your teen should go to therapy. Our team of caring therapists would happily offer them support from our Michigan-based practice and across the state of Michigan via online therapy. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
Other services offered at Unity Counseling Therapists in Michigan
Counseling for teens isn’t the only service offered at Unity Counseling.
At Unity Counseling, we understand that you want the best for your teen, and we are here to help. We have a range of services that can benefit your teen’s mental health and anyone else in the family. Within our mental health services, our team offers counseling for teenagers, anxiety counseling, depression counseling, and grief counseling. We also offer services including couples counseling, LGBTQ+ counseling, CBT, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and mindfulness. We understand making in-person appointments can be difficult at times, which is why we are happy to also offer online therapy in Michigan. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or our FAQ today!