To parents I would say, don’t shut them out. First and foremost do not shut them out. Do not shout. Do not raise your voice. Don’t be a parent basically. Just don’t see them as your little boy or little girl. Because if you see it like that you’re treating them like a child, you’re talking down to them, and you’re just being for want of a better word, ignorant. You know just ask them what’s wrong. Sit down with them, you know, knock on their bedroom door, go in, sit down with them. Say, go, “Is there anything you want me to help you with?” Shut the bedroom door. Just, I don’t know, don’t, don’t do it, you know, don’t call them downstairs into the living room, when you know both the parents are sat there and it’s like you’re under interrogation, only do one parent at a time.
I don’t know you know, if say, I know there’s a lot of divorces and what not, but if you’ve got both parents in the home, if the young person is closer to the Mum, speak to the mum. If it’s the Dad, speak to the Dad, and then if it’s closer to the Mum the Mum can tell the Dad, or the parent they are closer to can tell the other parent, and speak through it as an adult thing.
Speak to them as a young adult, as you would want to be spoken to yourself, do not down talk them, do not raise your voice, just keep calm, flat and just sit on the edge of their bed and just say, “Look what’s wrong?” You know, don’t mollycoddle them don’t be you know, you know don’t be harsh, but don’t be too sympathetic.
You know it’s, it is very difficult but if you if you can strike that right note because as, I mean you know your child better than anyone else. They might think they know themselves better, but you probably do, just sit down and talk to them and just don’t shout at ‘em and don’t you know be, “Oh are you okay? Tell…” You know don’t be whisper, just talk to them going, “Are you alright? What’s up then?” You know, just keep it simple, just one parent in the room at a time, leave the TV on, ‘cos then they’ve got the choice of, “Oh, well I’ll just watch TV instead.” But if they see you, still sat there, if they turn round to the TV and start watching the TV, or laptop, or computer or DVD, music or whatever it is, they go round there, just say to them, “Look if you’re not happy to talk at the moment, then you just know that we will always be here for you at any time of day or night, if you want to talk then we’re here.”
And just stay there for five minutes. If they’re still in the TV leave them alone for a half an hour, and just keep checking up on ‘em, ‘cos then they know they’ve got their support. And they know that they’re loved, and the road to recovery starts there.