Do you remember what it was like to enter your teen years? Going through those emotional rollercoasters and physical changes was definitely challenging. But having someone’s support and encouragement made things a lot less complicated. You need to do the same for your children as well.
Adolescence hits every child differently. Teen years are all about emotional, physical, and psychological changes not only for kids but also for parents. Their bodies, brains, and changing hormones start giving them a tough time. This is when your kids need you the most.
Plus, if your kids have entered their teenage years, then you should know that they’ve started their journey towards adulthood. And that’s your cue to nurture and get them ready for their future.
So, if you’ve been feeling confused and clueless about how to raise happy, healthy, and confident teenagers, here are some parenting skills that might come in handy for you. Remember, all they want is someone to turn to and share their emotional and physical problems with. Try being that, and everything will fall into place right away.
Talk to your tweens about their body
You should know that boys and girls start with their puberty when they turn eight and ten, respectively. During this time, their body starts changing at an alarming rate. And it is okay for kids to freak out about that. That’s where you come into the picture.
Try to be as honest as possible and use real words for the body parts. You need to reassure them that whatever they are experiencing is totally normal and essential for their growth and development. Plus, talking about their body will also help your teenager get over their insecurities about their physique.
You would also need to help them go through their changes and teach them how to keep their physical health in check. Tell your tweens about what food items can fulfill their nutritional needs. Also, if your kids have any food allergies, then you need to tell them how to deal with their reactions. Show them how to take a food allergy blood test from home so that your kids don’t have to make emergency trips to the medical room. Although young kids often outgrow their allergies, it’s not always the case. So, you need to be prepared for every scenario.
Teaching your kids how to stay physically healthy will definitely come in handy when your kids are all set to leave the nest for college.
Focus on their mental health
According to psychologists, teen depression is a severe problem in America. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 20% of adolescents are currently suffering from depression and anxiety.
There are times when you might have arguments about stuff on the dinner table with your young kids. Or your teenage kids might want to stay confined to their rooms and avoid social interactions. And one of the prominent reasons for this is the emotional gap between tweens and parents.
According to psychologists, teens have a lot to be stressed about, particularly about peer relationships. This means that when everything is going well in school and in their relationships, teenage kids are easier to get along with. And if things are not going according to their plans and expectations, they tend to show signs of aggression and tantrums. That’s where you need to drop your judgemental feelings and start taking a teenager’s view about stuff.
In order to foster healthy relationships with your adolescent children, start talking about stuff; here’s something you need to do.
● Show them that they have your undivided attention. Also, there would be times when you would want to jump in and offer advice to your kids. You need to wait for their story to end before jumping to conclusions.
● Refrain from barging in their rooms out of the blue to talk about stuff in their lives. Show them that you always have an open-door policy for your kids, and they can speak with you regarding anything. Also, make them realize that you are their best option who can help them with their problems, even if it is in the middle of the night.
● Assure them that it’s okay to talk about their weaknesses and insecurities. It’ll help build self-esteem and boost their confidence levels.
Meet your kids at a middle ground
Rules are important in every house. They help with discipline. But having too many rules can be a bit suffocating for your kids. As your kids grow, you need to start being lenient with them.
Teenagers often feel that they have no freedom at all. They think that their parents would say a big NO to everything they ask for. As a result, they go to greater lengths to get what they want. That’s where you need to find a fine line between a responsible parent and being a hovering or controlling parent. You need to stop forcing your decisions and views on your kids. If you are not happy about something your children are demanding, encourage them to meet at a middle ground so that everyone gets what they want. Remember, it’s a two-way street.
For instance, suppose your children want to go to a concert on a school night with their friends. In that case, you need to calmly face the situation by telling them how going to a concert on a school night can affect their school performance. At the same time allow them to go to a concert on weekends so that your kids can enjoy their young life. This way, your kids will understand how important it is to be attentive at school and respect you for cutting them some slack. So, everybody wins.
At the same time, you need to make it very clear about what things you would never compromise with, especially the ones that affect your children’s safety and health. For instance, reckless driving and underage drinking is not at all safe and healthy for your teenagers. So, you need to tell your kids about why they are not supposed to do these things and how they can be in trouble for this.
Teenage is a very complex stage of adulthood. It nurtures your children’s physical and mental health and shapes their personalities for the future. So use the parenting tips mentioned above and raise happy, healthy, and confident teenagers.