My teenager is depressed, what can I do to help him?

Dear Chat Daddy,
I am a 25-year-old woman in distress. My fiancΘ and I have been together for two years and I really believe he is the one for me.I honestly can’t see myself with anyone else and we have a great loving relationship.The problem is%uFFFDwhi

Upon graduation, I landed a job in my line of study, which I highly love as well. But I want to dance on weekends, just to have some extra money in my pocket. Of course, my fiancΘ doesn’t approve of this at all and has threatened to leave me if I continue to pursue this. I feel torn because, on one hand, I want to keep my man, but on the other, this is something that I want to do. Please advise. -Dancing To The Bank

Dear Dancing To The Bank, Sister, this is deep one. First of all, let me say that I can definitely understand where you are coming from in reference to wanting to add more finances to the pot.

However, I can see where your man is coming from as well. As you stated, you deeply love this man and can’t envision yourself with someone else. With that said, ask yourself is stripping really worth losing the love of your life? I would suggest that you look into other opportunities that you could pursue on weekends that would provide the financial increase you desire. You are college educated and I’m sure that you’ve acquired numerous skills and proficiencies that have helped you land job that’s already under your belt. So why not utilize those same talents to find something that you could enjoy that won’t make your man feel so uncomfortable and unhappy. Here’s to your pursuit of a weekend extra income gig that will allow you to use constructive and suitable talents and here’s to a wonderful, happy engagement and marriage. Be encouraged.

Dear Chat Daddy, I am a single mother of three teens, ages 17, 18 and 19. My 18-year-old is going through a deep depression. I reside in a high crime community. He does not go outside%uFFFDat all%uFFFDeven on a beautiful day. He sleeps a whole lot. He’s not motivated to do what he needs to do. He stopped attending high school altogether. But I was determined to see him get an education, so I continually stressed the importance of it until he went off to Job Corps and completed his high school equivalency diploma/trade in Business Technology. He’s not doing a thing with it. Chat Daddy, here’s something I just don’t understand.

Both his father and stepfather are present in his life, but they have not been able to motivate him. Here’s the good part: So far, he’s never been in trouble with the law. I need your advice and all suggestions on how to get my son back on track.

-Mother Of Depressed Teen

Dear Mother Of Depressed Teen, First and foremost, start with prayer. I am extremely sorry to hear of your son being in the state he’s in. I, too, am depressed about what is going on in our community. As long as he is under your care, you must set the stage and rules of what will and will not happen in your household. I would like for you to seriously find the root of the problem. Communicate with him and ask him why he is sleeping all of the time. It’s admirable that he has not been involved with the wrong side of the law.

Many teens do because they cannot seem to cope with the emotional and mental turmoil of violence and other negative incidents that trigger criminal behavior. I would also suggest that you utilize some other means of getting him to shake this off. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, as the parent. Maybe it’s time for his father and stepfather to physically get him up out of the bed. Seeing a family therapist may be exactly what you all need to help him get through this difficult time.

It may also be a good idea to get him a male mentor because often times, men can reach other men. All of you together can sit down as a family and make an outline of his five to 10-year plan while getting him involved with substantive activities that would boost his confidence and self-esteem. This could include volunteering at your neighborhood community center for youth or other places that focus on assisting youth with job training, assessment and life-building skills. Here’s to you remaining strong for your son and grooming him to become the successful man he is destined to be. Be encouraged that, together, we can all help make our community a better place.

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