Being a teenager isn’t easy, but being the parent of one is just as hard. You want only the best for your child, and as he or she navigates these difficult years, you may want to step in to help from time to time. If you know anything about teenagers, though, you’ll know that it is very tricky to help them in any way because they want to be independent. You must find a way to guide them without seeming like you are trying to tell them what to do or otherwise control their lives.
The best way to do this is through open communication. You have to let your child know you are always there to talk to. It also helps to sit your child down and cover a few important topics just as a guide to these tough teen years.
School is often a serious area for teens. Some want to work hard so that they can get into a good college. Others may slack off and seem to not care at all. Whatever end of the spectrum your child is on, discussing education can be a huge help.
You should address the importance of graduating from high school. Cover the options, such as college or technical school. Also, set expectations. You should make sure children know that you will support them if they do their best.
Your teen will go through a lot of physical changes at this point in life. These things can be confusing and upsetting. Make sure your child knows that it is normal to feel this way.
Talk about self-esteem and normal body changes. Discuss also, self-image, weight issues, dieting, and exercise. Also, talk about peer pressure. Explain how certain habits they pick up now could impact their lives forever. Cover hot button issues, such as vaping, by visiting informative websites, such as smokingthings.com.
Relationships in the teenage years become more complicated. Friendships and romantic relationships can often impact your child’s life in substantial ways, so you need to prepare them for healthy relationships.
Talk with your child about abuse and healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. Cover the topic of sex and provide support now so that your child will be more likely to come to you with issues in the future.
Explain how to stay safe in relationships and how to be a good friend. Warrenton Women’s Counseling Centers suggests going over how social media can be damaging and talking about bullying.
Be There For Your Teen
Being there for your teen by opening the lines of communication is one of the best things you can do to help him or her through this period of life. The teen years don’t last forever, but they can seem like they do, and having a supportive parent can make all the difference.