OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As parents, we may want to shield our kids from bad news to protect them but ignoring something won't make it go away, and teens really pick up on what's going on.
3 News Now Anchor Jennifer Griswold talked to a psychologist who specializes in families and teens about how to talk to your kids about the stress your family is going through.
Teens are navigating so many changes and there are some who may be seeing a parent lose a job or stress over loss of income.
When asked about shielding teens, Development Psychologist Dr. Cameron Caswell said, “It's really dependent on the teenager to know how much but my philosophy is typically to be transparent.”
Caswell said, typically, it's best to tell your teen what's going on and how you're handling it. Leave the communication lines open for their questions and concerns.
“Teens know what's going on and typically their imagination is going to be far worse than whatever is going on,” Caswell said. “This doesn't mean that you lean on them and depend on them but it does mean you sit down and be very honest.”
Otherwise, they'll often sense something is wrong and worry.
“I talk to so many teenagers that, believe it or not, the reason they don't tell their parents a lot is not because they want to hide it. It’s because they don't want to burden their parents. They see how stressed they are and they don't want to add to it,” Caswell said.