The teenage years are tough. It seems like every week a drama comes up in their lives, and even though it may seem small to you, it means the world to them. Then there are the big things that teenagers may have to deal with — from drugs and alcohol to pregnancy scares, bullying and exams. While many teenagers will act like they don’t need your support, they really need it more than ever, so here’s how to get them through difficult times.
Let Them Know You Are There for Them
Some teenagers will bottle things up because they worry if they tell you about an incident, you’ll get mad or punish them. An important part of communicating with your teenager is letting them know you are there, and they can tell you anything. While you might be mortified by some of the things you hear, it’s important that you trust your teenager to be mature enough to deal with things. Only get involved if you think your teen’s mental or physical health is in danger.
Teach Them to Deal with the Little Things
From failing a test to getting dropped from a team, life can be full of disappointments when you’re a teenager. However, getting through these things gives your teen resilience, which is an important skill in life. Let them feel sad and cope with the emotions, then guide them towards solutions, whether it’s extra study sessions or getting more practice in.
Help Them See the Positive Side of a Situation
Teenagers can often wallow when they feel sad and may go through periods when they are extremely negative and don’t want to be cheered up. However, learning to see the bright side can help your teenager through tough times in life, so you should try and help them see the good in everything. Keeping a gratitude journal is a good way to get them to appreciate the little things in life and takes just minutes a day.
Get Them Professional Help if They Need It
If your teenager is showing signs of a more serious mental health crisis, or has been through a particularly difficult experience such as their parents divorcing or bullying, then they may need additional support. It may be worth getting a referral for some therapy sessions, or contacting Ignite Teen Treatment who work with teens with trauma, depression, anxiety and more. While many parents see this sort of treatment as a last resort, sometimes early intervention is better, as it means issues aren’t festering over time and getting worse.
Think Back to Your Own Teenage Years
Parents of teenagers may have trouble communicating with their teenager sometimes, as they forget what it was like to be that age. It’s worth remembering some of the things that happened to you in junior high and high school, and how your parents dealt with them — versus how you wish they’d have reacted. While this doesn’t mean you have to let your child run wild, it’ll help you reach compromises with your teenager.