Teenage years are both exciting and overwhelming for everyone involved. As a parent, you’re watching your child grow into an adult and go through some of the most important years of their life; as a teen, their mind and body is changing and growing, and they are making important decisions which will impact their life, such as school courses and the friends they choose.
Here are 5 sure-fire ways to support your teen’s all-important development.
Give Them Their Space
Your teen will be experiencing a time when they are seeking more responsibility and privacy. It’s important to respect your teenager’s boundaries within the home, just as it’s important for your teen to respect you, too. Teenagers are more likely to act badly if you are overbearing or if they don’t feel as though they get any peace and privacy at home, and this can easily breed resentment.
Don’t Ignore Any Behaviour Changes
While your teenager is bound to be going through some pretty big changes at this stage in their life due to puberty and hormonal changes, you shouldn’t ignore any significant changes which may indicate that something is wrong. Mental health issues can manifest in many ways, including:
- Excessive sleeping
- Being suddenly withdrawn or unsociable
- Lack of appetite
- Quick to anger
- Restless behaviour
- Physical symptoms, such as losing weight or falling ill very easily
Should you suspect that your teen is going through mental health problems, you should speak openly and supportively about it with them. However, if you feel that you need additional help and severely concerned about their welfare, you can seek professional services like Ignite Teen Treatment to ensure you get your teen get back on track.
While smaller children need your unwavering attention at all times, teenagers may pick and choose when they need attention from you, but it’s important to always be ready. If your teenager approaches you to discuss something of importance, then taking the time to listen to them and support them will help to build trust. You should also take an interest in their development, such as their schoolwork or any hobbies or interests they want to pick up. Positively encouraging them will help them to stay on track.
Healthy Family Mealtimes
Family mealtimes may be the opportune time to reconnect with your teen if you have opposite social and working schedules or if they prefer to be left alone when they are at home. Mealtimes mean that you can communicate with your teen and speak to them about their day.
Furthermore, enjoying family mealtimes together means you can utilize healthy family recipes, which will ensure that your growing teen has all the nutrition they need. Leaving your teen to feed themselves or to their own devices regarding food may encourage unhealthy eating habits or an excess of junk food. Therefore, aim to make the main meal of the day a healthy family one.
Promote Their Independence
If your teen is expressing ways in which they would like to be more independent, you should take the relevant steps to encourage this. This could be:
- Offering to help them learn to drive if they express interest in learning
- Teaching them how to cook
- Showing them how to easily do certain household chores, such as the laundry, and encouraging them to do so while living in the family home so that they will be better prepared when they leave
- Let your teen make their own decisions