According to the Urban Dictionary, the term “paint it black” references a Rolling Stones song from the Vietnam war era and basically means that something “rocks.” Considering the depressing lyrics of the song, however, one could see how your teen literally incorporating a lot of black into their life could be upsetting.
In most cases, experimenting with style and various ways of expressing yourself are all extremely normal behaviors for adolescents. However, as a parent, you’re probably wondering where the line is between innocence/self-discovery and the possible warning signs of a mental health issue that requires mental health treatment. Check out the following tips to help your teen through their “paint it black” stage.
When should you be concerned?
According to an article in HealthLine, it’s normal for teens to stay up late and sleep in, be irritable from time to time, not want to do their homework, be somewhat rebellious, experiment with drugs and alcohol, and be a bit secretive. However, they say that these types of behaviors are cause for concern when or if your teen is making a habit of sleeping all afternoon instead of hanging out with friends, constantly exploding with anger and frustration, obsessing about their academics, or doesn’t seem to care at all, experiencing substance abuse, breaking the law, or constantly lying.
HealthLine notes that if a parent is at all concerned about their teen’s behavior, checking in with a therapist or school counselor is always a good idea. Especially considering in the United States, roughly 4.4 million children between the ages of three and 17 have diagnosable anxiety while 1.9 million have diagnosable depression.
Not only are anxiety disorders and depression common in teens, but there could be other mood disorders and mental health issues present in adolescents that go undetected. For example, mental health issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse disorder, depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or even gender dysphoria can all be mental health disorders caused by an underlying problem.
Luckily, Teen Treatment Centers like Polaris offers a wide range of individualized evidence-based therapies from licensed therapists such as family therapy, group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and much more at their residential treatment center. This means that, at Polaris, young people get the individualized care and compassion required for their unique needs.
Whether your teen needs a residential treatment center to deal with a substance abuse disorder, they’re struggling to have healthy relationships, or if your teen needs therapy to cope with the troubles of becoming a young adult, Polaris has options to help young people successfully make the transition into healthy adulthood.
Be supportive and help them express themselves with their wardrobe.
Let’s be honest here, everyone needs a good pair of black jeans. Luckily, White House Black Market has all different cuts of black jeans for your teen to pick from. While you may not always approve of the way your teen dresses, it’s important to put aside your feelings and make them feel supported (even if you absolutely hate that new graphic tee).
At White House Black Market, you’ll find a wide selection of black jeans, skinny jeans, dark wash jeans, and bootcut jeans to fit any waist size in their denim shop. If denim such as black jeans or skinny jeans isn’t what your teen is looking for, you will also find swimwear, dresses, sweaters, and much more in their new arrivals section.
Bonus tip: if you sign up for text alerts, you will be the first to know about new arrivals, discounts, and more!
Check-in with your teen regularly.
According to HealthLine, troubled teens, as well as the entire family, can benefit from parents having regular “check-ins” with their teens. During these chats, Dr. Laura Grubb explains that it’s important to have the state of mind to come to your child without placing blame and remaining calm. These conversations should be about them, not you.
Consider highlighting their strengths, letting them know you’ve noticed some behavioral issues — without using the term “behavior issues”— and say that you’re concerned because you love them. Try to remember that we all want to be cool (i.e. to “paint it black”) and try to sympathize with dealing with that pressure on top of the pressure of self-discovery associated with becoming a young adult that your child is going through.