Parents often associate their children’s teenage years as the most tiresome, hopeless and nerve racking to overcome. What we seem to forget is that it is an even harder time for the children themselves! There are ways to help your teenager get through it, to make a different in their lives…
- Try to understand what they’re feeling! Be sympathetic – what would you feel if so-and-so said something rude about you? Think about what they feel, because whatever happens in their lives seems much, much more important and dramatic to them than it would to you – they have a completely different point of view which is always misunderstood.
- Set an example you would want your teenager to follow. When they see you doing something, anything, they immediately think that that behavior is okay to copy – act like the role-model you want them to have, because they will follow your example, even if its subconsciously.
- Teenagers don’t have a habit to talk their hearts out to their parents, so, when they do, listen. Even if you don’t feel capable of giving great advice, listen to whatever they have to say, because the odds are that it’s important, if they turned to you with the matter!
- Depression. Depression is a horrible experience, so parents should do their best to prevent it – of you see any, any, symptoms of depression in your child, act!
- Don’t force your teen to do things they don’t want to, particularly on their future. Some parents are confident that their child will agree on the plan-for-the-future they have constructed – teenagers, and children in general for that matter, will want to choose their own college or career path and if you force your version onto them they will either rebel against you completely or end up very unhappy with what they have.
- Let them sleep in once in a while. It might seem simple and probably stupid, but sleeping can work wonders. You know, as adults, how important a good night’s sleep is – for teenagers, it even better. They grow while they sleep, are able to function properly the next day, and, unless you want them super cranky, let them sleep – it’ll do them good to relax a bit longer.
- Alcohol… the easiest and most effective way to prevent your teenager from drinking too much is not, surprisingly enough for a lot of people, banning them from it completely – if you know a thing or two about people their age, they will rebel and drink behind your back, which is even worse. Actually, letting them drink controlled amount with you, for example at dinner or when you go out as a family, will satisfy their curiosity about alcohol and (hopefully) stop them from over-doing it when they finally turn 18.
- Lastly, confidence and self-esteem are huge factors in a teenager’s health and well-being. If you can tell, or suspect, that your child is insecure, try to understand why, and maybe pass of a few nice and reassuring comments to them – do your best to help them embrace and love who they are!
You’ll live through these years and so will your teenager – and, I promise, after all of these, both of you will become much closer.