The teen years are often the most turbulent in anybody’s life. During this period, your child has to navigate through all sorts of changes happening to their body, transitioning from middle school to high school and eventually college, and dealing with peer pressure – all while still trying to discover their own identity.
This time can be as hard on parents as it is on kids, as they may start to feel disconnected from their children or be unsure of how to deal with their childrens’ emotions. Take comfort in the fact that growing up is never easy for anyone, and that you are not at all alone in your struggles. Here are a few practical tips on how to survive the teen years:
Boost Their Confidence by Celebrating Milestones
A great way to boost your child’s confidence so they can navigate their teen years with more assurance is by consistently celebrating their achievements. This is different from telling them they’re “awesome” for every little thing, but it’s important to let them know that they are valued by celebrating them when they accomplish legitimate achievements, like graduating from middle school. Throw a small party with a photo booth rental from the Photo Factory to capture all the memories of that special day.
It’s always easier to plan parties with a theme, so talk to your child and ask them if they have a particular theme in mind. Together, you can come up with some great middle school graduation party ideas that will make both of you happy.
Communication is key to navigating any difficult time in life. Be a good listener, and let your child know that they can come to you and open up about anything they want. When your child talks to you, refrain from reacting or replying right away. Listen to understand where they’re coming from and what their thoughts and emotions are.
In the same way, practice communicating effectively with your children and being honest and open with them too about things that are happening in your household that are relevant to them. Children need to know that their parents can trust them, and in turn, they can trust their parents to listen without judging.
Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Knowledge and information helps prepare you for situations and allows you understand what is happening and how to deal with it better. In the years before your child enters puberty and becomes a teenager, prepare yourself for what’s going to happen by doing your research and learning about the physical and emotional changes you can expect.
Remember that as your child’s body changes, this can affect their emotions, and remind yourself that whenever they become moody or their attitude starts to change, it’s nothing personal against you, simply an effect of the changes happening in and around them.
It’s important to have a strong, open and healthy relationship with your child if you are both to survive the teen years. It’s never easy, but it doesn’t last forever, and everyone eventually settles down and become more steady in the end.
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Truly well written Lindsay!
I completely back your point on the need to celebrate milestones to boost the confidence of teenagers. Teenagers are a sack of roiling emotions, first-time decisions, the peer pressure to be ‘cool’. Support is hard to come by for the whole world seems to love admonishing them for their choices or advising them about a better path to tread. As parents, celebrating their milestones can be the much-needed respite they get from their roller-coaster journey.
Loved your article