Taking Care of Your Teenager: Tried and True Tips

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
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It may seem like five minutes ago that you brought your beautiful baby into the world, and the sleepless nights felt like they would last forever, and here you are in a blink of an eye as a parent of a teenager, scratching your head in confusion about where the years have gone.

As parents we can testify, parenting is not an easy job. Being a parent is, however, many things; a privilege, an adventure, a time full of intense emotions, but never an easy task. However you parent your kids, you probably feel like you are doing it wrong, you will feel guilty about things you didn’t do, and guilt about things you did do, but that’s all part of the crazy journey of parenthood. When all is said and done, everyone is trying their best, and everyone’s circumstances are different.

Once your kids get past the baby stage, the toddler stage, and beyond you may be feeling somewhat more settled in the world of parenthood, and you may even be ready to give yourself a pat on the back, but then it happens; your child becomes a teenager, and suddenly there are a whole different set of issues and worries to deal with.

The teenage years are hard work, but they are also fascinating. Seeing your child grow up so quickly before your eyes and seeing the kind of adult that they are developing into can make your heart sing with pride. At other times you may be tearing your hair out! I am deep in the depths of parenting teens with a 13 year old and a 17 year old. Here are a few tried and true tips which you may find useful as you navigate your way through the teenage years:

Keep Communicating
Communicating with a teenager is not always easy; sometimes the most you will get back is a grunt if you are lucky.

Keeping the lines of communication open to maintain the relationship between you is so important. There will be times where they don’t want to be around you, let alone talk to you, which can be hard to accept. There will be times when they live in their bedroom, only emerging when they are hungry and want to be fed. However, if they know that they can talk to you when needed if any problems or worries arise, it can be a great reassurance to them, even if they don’t show it!

Safety First
A great source of worry for many parents is their teenager going out and about on their own. Whether they are catching the bus to school or hanging out with their friends or driving on their own (ugh!), parents want to know where their kids are and what they are doing while they are out and about.

Although they are likely to roll their eyes and mutter under their breath at the whole ‘stranger danger’ talk, you may feel better reiterating aspects of it, and to ensure that they are streetwise before heading out on their own.

If you are seeking some extra reassurance when your child is out on their own, you may want to discuss with them the idea of getting a tracking app for your phone. Look into getting the best parental control app for android so that you know where your teenager is while they are out and about.

Mental Health Tool Kit
Being a teenager nowadays is tough, there is just so much for kids to think about and so many different messages that they are bombarded with each day. Social media forms a big part of the pressure that many teenagers face, along with stereotyped ideas of physical perfection, extra pressure from school work… the list goes on.

With teenagers facing many more pressures than teenagers did even a couple of decades ago, it makes sense to give them the tools that they need to keep their mental health in balance in this crazy, modern world. One of the biggest ways you can help with this is by building their self-confidence so that they are confident in who they are and more resilient to external pressure from their peers.

Mindfulness is a useful tool for everyone to use in their daily lives. Introducing your teenager to mindfulness will provide them with a skill that they can continue to use throughout their lives. Mindfulness can also be a useful way of helping kids to cope with exam stress. Tools such as mindfulness are an excellent way for kids to find a place of calm, no matter how crazy the world around them may be.

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