When teens experience emotional disturbance, they may not take the initiative to tell their parents. However, we can pay attention to the signals and offer help if needed: 

  • Sudden change on academic, e.g. often late, absence, fail to handle homework well, poor performance etc.
  • Depressive mood, such as easy to cry
  • Sudden loss of interest in activity
  • Significant changes of weight or appetite
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Withdrawn socially
  • Restless or impatient
  • Preoccupied or worried
  • Agitated or disgruntled without reason

If teens experience emotional disturbance, how can we help? 

Problem-solving skills  Methods of emotional management

Provide pathways for teens to know that there are many ways to solve the problems.

Problem-solving steps:

  1. Identify the problems
  2. Brainstorm various solutions
  3. Assess the feasibility of each method
  4. Select the best method
  5. Review the effectiveness of the chosen solution
  • Teach them safe ways to express their emotions and calm down- such as playing basketball, listening to music, sharing with others.  
Teach them how to make decisions and solve problems, rather than just provide them with a ready-made solution.  Help them understand the problem and explore possibilities, and learn the positive and negative ways to evaluate the solutions.
  • Guide teens to look at things from different perspectives

  • Make good use of the sense of humor which helps us face emotional disturbance with calm and open-minded attitudes

Don’t hesitate to find social workers, teachers or other professionals for help if necessary.