Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy, but this can be daunting when your child becomes a teen. Being a teenager is notoriously challenging, and this can also be a tricky time for parents. Your child is going through various prickly situations at this time, from raging hormones to pressures in school, so it is important that you’re there for them.
Here are some effective strategies you can try to look after your teenager’s health and well-being.
Encourage Open, Honest Communication
Teenagers need guidance and understanding with all the changes going on in their lives. They need support to navigate through this chapter, whether it’s for the physical changes they are experiencing or more sensitive issues, like sex and mental health. Make your teens feel comfortable talking about those by encouraging open and honest communication.
Communicating with teenagers can be challenging, but you need to step up, lest they turn to other harmful ways of coping with their issues. Build a safe home environment that encourages them to open up without fear of judgment or criticism. Develop healthy ways of dealing with conflict, and learn to practice compassion and patience.
Model Good Behavior
If you want your teenager to make healthy choices in their lives, then you too must model good behavior that they can emulate. Lead your child by example by being responsible, disciplined, and healthy in your way of life. You can’t expect your teen to take interest in being healthy if you yourself do not care about your health and wellness.
Take time to evaluate your lifestyle, if there are any areas that need improvement or negative habits you need to eliminate. There are products that can help you detoxify your system from addictive substances. If you have bad habits that you have been struggling to break, consider joining a support group or seeking professional help.
Prepare Healthy, Balanced Meals
The body needs healthy and nutritious food in order to function well and fight disease. Your teen has heard countless times in school about the importance of having a healthy and balanced diet. All those lectures, however, won’t make an impact if you don’t practice healthy eating habits at home.
Keep your child healthy by preparing nutritious and balanced meals for the family. Now would be a great time to teach them how to cook healthy food on their own. Doing this will help your teen be more self-reliant and conscientious about what food and ingredients to use.
Spend Quality Time
Many teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure because they are desperate to feel connected and accepted. You should make it a point to spend quality time with your child so they do not feel alone and isolated. Cultivating a strong relationship with your child will help them feel more confident in taking on life’s challenges.
Quality time is not about going on expensive vacations together. A simple dinner in which you give your child your undivided attention can do wonders for your relationship. Learn to listen more to what your teen has to say.
Know When to Seek Help
Teens nowadays face challenges that were unheard of in the previous generations. Gender-identity crisis, mental-health problems, and substance abuse are just a few of the critical issues that can affect your child’s well-being. Your child will appreciate it if you are present and supportive of them, but you should also understand your limits.
Know when to seek professional help like therapy, counseling, and rehabilitation. This is critical if you notice that your child may be depressed or is demonstrating signs of drug abuse and addiction. It is important to break the stigma about these kinds of issues, and this should start by having an open attitude toward getting available help.
Check out this short but insightful interview about teenagers and mental health:
Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired is part and parcel of parenthood. Don’t allow the bad days to distract you from your rare and rewarding role as a caregiver, supporter, and friend to your teen.