If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that being a teenager is stressful. It doesn’t matter what decade you were born in, we all remember the confusion and worry as we attempted to find our way in the world. Thankfully, as science has progressed, we have developed different ways to help our kids cope with stress.
Get enough sleep
As your child enters puberty, the sudden change of hormones means that they don’t feel sleepy until much later in the evening. Combine this with early mornings for school and you have a very tired teen who might not cope the best. If you can, explain to your teen that they need to try and get some sleep, even if their body is fighting against it. You may have to lay down some rules about screens and game consoles in the evenings because they can affect your sleep pattern. As for the weekend when they have nothing to do, let them have a lie in to make up for any sleep they may have missed during the week.
Cars, buses and computer games, what do they have in common? They are all modern conveniences that are stopping our kids from getting enough exercise. Don’t get us wrong, we couldn’t live without them. What we must do as parents is make sure our kids are getting enough exercise. Teenagers need around 60 minutes of exercise every day to help keep themselves healthy. This can be a lot when they have to pack in schoolwork, chores, and any other responsibilities. An evening walk is a great walk to get the whole family fit if you can get your teen to join you.
Teach them about mindfulness
Mindfulness is a real buzzword these days, but what does it actually mean? Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps you to focus your mind on the present to help reduce stress. This is a great tool to teach your teenager. Not only will it be useful for them now, but as they get older they can use it when faced with the stress of being an adult. If you are unsure of how to get started, there are many apps and websites that can guide you through the process and explain fully how it can benefit you and your family.
Communication is key
Our teens need to know that they can come to us about anything. And we like to think that they can. However, our communication skills with our teens might not be as great as we think they are. Gay phone chat numbers could suddenly appear and we can be left wondering how we missed that and why they didn’t come to us. We can tell them that we can talk about anything but if we are brushing them off when they try to tell us about their day, they won’t see it that way.
Overall, be patient, give them the space they need, and make time to talk to your kids, even if it is over the most trivial things. Making them feel that they are heard, being a part of things, and are treated like a grown-up makes a big difference.