How to Support Your Child Through the Difficult Teenage Years

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Parenting is a role that is full of challenges; just when you thought that you had cracked it by mastering toddler tantrums, along come the teenage years, with a whole new set of problems to navigate. Of course, the teenage years aren’t all plain sailing for your child either. All of those physical and emotional changes can make life seem like a rollercoaster ride, full of intense ups and downs. It’s ironic that the very time they begin to show an interest in relationships, their faces break out, and their hair becomes oily. Couple this with exam stress and significant changes to their body, and you can see why they are left feeling temperamental.

While your child may seem to be intent on arguing with you and generally being defiant, it can be useful to rewind to your teenage years and remember how you felt. Add in current issues such as being bombarded with images of physical perfection, pressure from social media, along with issues such as cyberbullying, and you can see that teenagers have a lot to deal with nowadays. This makes it more critical than ever before to guide your teenager through the adolescent years. You don’t need to become their stalker, but being on hand to provide guidance is essential to help them through this time of transition to adulthood.

Keep Communicating

When your child only responds to you with grunts, it can be hard to strike up a conversation. However, communication is vital to help them through their teenage years. If they don’t want to talk, you may find that nagging them ends in an argument, as they will feel like you are hassling them. Escalating problems into a full-blown row is not helpful to anyone and can inflame the situation to epic proportions. Rather than making an issue out of the situation, make it clear that you are ready to listen if they want to talk. Taking this approach reassures them that you aren’t nagging at them, but that you do have time for them if they have something they want to talk through with you.

If your child is experiencing issues but doesn’t want to discuss them with you, it could be helpful to get them teen group therapy so that they can talk through their problems in different surroundings, and get the help that they need outside of the home environment. This could make them feel more comfortable about opening up about their issues.

Be a Good Role Model

Children learn by example, so being the best role model that you can be is vital. Enforcing the boundaries that you want your child to respect is impossible if you don’t follow them yourself. If you spend a lot of your time scrolling through social media, your teenager may find it hard to understand how you can prevent them from doing the same thing.

Your teen is far more likely to respect your opinions and advice if they know that you make positive choices.

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