Simply put, the state of the world is chaotic. So, it goes without saying that Coronado SAFE’s Coffee Talk on Youth and Anxiety was timely and much needed. The speaker, Dr. Tana Luo, went in-depth to explaining what anxiety in our youth looks like and practical strategies to implement at home. Personally, my note page was filled with great insights from her presentation, though one part of the Coffee Talk really stuck with me. It was when Luo said:
“I think when we’re in anxiety-provoking situations; there’s definitely an urge to provide a lot of reassurance to our children like, ‘everything is going to be just fine. Nothing bad is going to happen.’ At the end of the day, it’s not realistic to give that assurance. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Giving that assurance might help with that anxiety short term but it might set unrealistic expectations for your child. The goal here is to help your child be able to tolerate uncertainty. This might look something like, ‘You know, I don’t really know what things are going to look like a week from now or a month from now and we have each other and we’re going to get through this together.”’
For parents, there is a natural and good desire to try to take away our youth’s anxiety. Though, I think Luo makes a key distinction. Rather than dismissing the seriousness of an issue, it’s more helpful to give youth the tools to cope with anxiety and most importantly, assure them that they’re not alone. By supporting and empowering our youth, they become more resilient and more prepared to take on future challenges.
As the world keeps changing, Coronado SAFE continues to provide the tools, resources, and industry professionals you need to navigate the ever-changing landscape of parenting and adolescence. Coronado SAFE offers sliding-scale counseling, a Parent-Empowerment group, and so much more. Check out all the programs on the website at CoronadoSAFE.org
The next Coffee Talk is a Suicide Prevention Training on Oct 13. Register under the events tab at CoronadoSAFE.org.