Be the Calm
Posted by Jillian Erlich & Robin Brown on 11/17/2021
We know adolescents thrive on routine and predictability. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, our world has been anything but predictable. As parents, you have probably seen some fallout from the many unknowns that your teen has been going through. But in the process, they have learned to expect the unexpected, pivot, and can change their course of action at a moment’s notice. Hopefully, you’ve seen their resiliency too.
Being back at school feels different this year. There is always some anxiety as students adjust to returning to BVT. Our freshmen are learning to navigate exploratory and a new school, while our sophomores are experiencing the true culture and norms of BVT for the first time. Due to COVID, our upperclassmen are now looked upon as leaders without having the traditional underclassmen experience. It all makes you need to take a DEEP BREATH! Ahhh...
As parents, it is essential to remember that anxiety is a normal and important emotion. Feeling anxious is our brain’s way of protecting and keeping us safe while motivating us to pay close attention to worrisome situations. Anxiety itself is not a bad thing. It is one of many emotions we must learn to live with, investigate, and be curious about. But as we know, too much of anything creates an imbalance. When anxiety interferes with daily life, you may see your teen struggling, and they might not know how to tell you what’s bothering them.
You may hear your teen express:
• My stomach hurts
• I have a headache
• I don’t want to go to school
• I have no friends
• I can’t sleep
• I feel sad
• I feel angry
• I want to be with you
When you see these signs, it’s okay to name the feelings for your teen. But try to remain calm as teens learn how to regulate their emotions from the adults in their lives. This dialogue is an opportunity to remind your teen that they are safe and it will be okay. Helping your teen navigate anxiety and its challenges are the building blocks for a resilient adult. Students who persevere through difficulty will discover newfound confidence and the ability to tackle future problems. Although anxiety is uncomfortable, think of it as a wave; the emotion builds, crashes, and always retreats.
We will work together to support your teen as they navigate their high school years. Whether it’s adjusting to BVT as a new student, trying out for a sports team, or getting up the courage to join a club, we’re here to provide your teen the tools to tackle the unpredictability and exciting road ahead.