The holidays are supposed to be a magical time of year. Everyone seems to be much friendlier and even strangers wish each other happy holidays. We exchange gifts and make hopeful new year's resolutions. Despite this, I often hear about holiday sadness and/or depression. The teens that I know and work with share their holiday longings and disappointments with me.
1. I miss my dad. I don't hear from him much since he got re-married.
2. I miss my mom since she got sick, travels so frequently, etc...
3. I miss my family and the way it used to be before the divorce.
4. I miss my older sister who is spending her junior year abroad.
5. I miss the house and neighborhood that we lived in last year.
6. I wish that the holidays would just end. My grandmother died right before the holidays last year.
Parents: While you are celebrating, I suggest that you don't forget to acknowledge what your teens may be feeling. Celebration and some longing and sadness can co-exist. Your teens are not too young to learn that celebration and sadness are not mutually exclusive.
Validate and celebrate!