sad-christmas-101215-02Tis the time of year that everyone is supposed to be full of joy and the spirit of Christmas with their loved ones – family and friends!

Lots of food, music, laughter, chatter, gifts and social media sharing – or oversharing it all!

Like some adults, there are some teenagers and youth that struggle with sadness at the holidays.  Maybe their parents have recently divorced, maybe they have lost a parent or grandparent or someone close to them, maybe they are a victim of a bully or cyberbully.

Another fact that many adults and teens are guilty of, is Faceboook or social media stalking.  You start searching for people you know (especially former friends/spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends) maybe in a former life or grade – and it seems like they are all having such a great time, and you feel like you have missed the boat – maybe even the yacht!  You sit alone — though you really are not alone — you feel that way.

Side note:  Let’s keep in mind – it is all perception.  I am sure all these people are having wonderful lives, but we never know what really goes on behind those pictures.  Teens are not mature enough to quite understand that yet.

In any event, they are not in the spirit to celebrate and haven’t shared with anyone why.  Teens are not the best communicator so parents need to have their parent-teen detectors alert.  If they need help, don’t allow the holidays to be a reason to wait.

With all their running around during the holidays, many signs can be missed.  Mom and dad are busy working, running to the grocery store, playing Santa, wrapping gifts, maybe volunteering (don’t forget to include your teens), and during this busy time – you may miss the fact your child is emotionally struggling.

As a parent, monitoring your teens social networking may give you some indications.   Check their status updates.  Sometimes they don’t share, so of course keeping your lines of communication open is imperative.  Keep in mind, offline parenting is the key to both safer online social behavior – as well as their offline well being.

Must watch and share video for more teen insights.

Courtesy of Mayo Clinic.