Having a chronic illness like asthma, anxiety or diabetes can be embarrassing for teens. Here’s how they can avoid standing out without putting their health at risk.
2. Stop problem solving.
Don’t immediately go into fix-it mode whenever your kid mentions how some aspect of their illness impacted their day. All your teen may want to hear is “Your day sounds like it was tough, and it must have been hard dealing with all that.” Sometimes your kid needs a solution, but other times they just want a sounding board and some emotional support. Playing up their strengths and good qualities helps too. “Kids benefit greatly from being reminded that their illness doesn’t define them,” explains Jill Emanuele, PhD, senior director of the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute in New York City.