This page may contain affiliate links, which means if you open such a link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission.
Your kids are growing up and, if they aren’t already, will one day become teenagers. Sometimes it can seem like overnight your baby has grown into a young adult, and managing this change can be tricky. Let me be the first to tell you…oh who am I kidding….I’m sure you have already been told what a notoriously difficult job it can be to raise them during the teen years. During these times, being able to support your teenager’s health and well-being is of the utmost priority.
Being the parent of a teenager brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Their growing independence can mean that there is conflict in the home as you try to establish boundaries. Because let’s face it, they will most definitely try to exert their will on a daily basis. Clashes with your teenager can make homelife tense.
Without the proper strategies, it is easy for conflict to get out of control. Situations like these can no doubt have a negative impact on the mental well-being of your teenager as well as other members of the family. And let me tell you, it can cause an unpleasant atmosphere throughout your home. Having tension in the home is never a healthy environment for any member of the family, whether you are the teen, parent, or even sibling (who also needs to feel secure & happy). Finding ways to navigate this time of change and support your child’s health and wellbeing in the process is essential for guiding your child through adolescence and into adulthood.
Understand the Changes
The teenage years are a time of significant change, emotionally, physically, and mentally. There is a whole lot of change happening in your teenager’s mind and body during this time, so it is only natural that their behavior reflects this.
The onset of puberty brings with it pimples, changes to the voice, and the growth of body hair. Some kids can feel uncomfortable about their developing body and maybe self-conscious; this can make them feel less confident around their peers.
It is essential to be mindful of your child’s feelings about their changing body and to remind them that although the changes may seem strange, they are, in fact, perfectly normal. Answering your child’s questions about puberty as honestly as you can, should help them to feel more at ease with this time of transition.
It can be helpful to think back to your own experiences of your changing body as a teenager and how that felt to you. This should help you to put yourself in your child’s position and be able to better relate to them.
All of these changes are coupled with a stressful time for teenagers. This is a time when they need to make decisions about their future and studying for exams, which will impact their ability to pursue the career of their choice. It’s little wonder that many kids find the teenage years a stressful and confusing time.
Provide the Right Support
Supporting your child through their teenage years is not always the most straightforward task. Their behavior may feel difficult, especially if they are moody or confrontational. Since your teenager may be reluctant to talk to you, make sure that it’s clear that you are ready to listen if and when they do want to talk. This keeps the lines of communication open and demonstrates that you are interested and supportive. It is also equally important that you pay attention to your teenager’s feelings by taking their concerns seriously and not dismissing them as trivial. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with your teen, but you do want to be sure to validate their feelings by hearing them out and allowing them to explain their position without judgment. As this is a confusing time, your child will want to feel like they are understood, and that they can discuss how they feel openly without feeling ashamed.
Although, it is always important to look out for any changes in your teenager’s behavior that may be concerning. That way you can be proactive in getting them any help that they may need in order to work through their struggles. If you feel that your teen is suffering from mental health issues, then seeking medical advice is essential. Treatment such as teen cognitive behavioral therapy is an extremely helpful tool. If mental health issues are left undiagnosed and untreated, they are likely to continue to have an impact on your child’s life once they reach adulthood. Such unresolved problems could hold them back and prevent them from reaching their full potential and pursuing their ambitions.
Encourage Healthy Choices
A fast developing body requires as much support as possible. Encouraging your child to make healthy choices that will improve their physical health and wellbeing is essential. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, as well as physical exercise and fresh air, can offer significant benefits.
Making healthy lifestyle choices will help them to be in the best position to deal with the changes that they are experiencing. Being active and getting out into the fresh air can be a great stress buster, and provides a perfect opportunity for them to take a break from studying. Plus, teenagers are more likely to refrain from making unhealthy choices when they are involved in sports and clubs because they do not want to impact their ability to participate.