5 Ways to Help Your Child Successfully Navigate Adolescence
This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Adolescence is a tough time for kids and parents alike! However, while things may be difficult right now— these tips can help you and your kiddo make it through adolescence successfully. Use these strategies to help your child navigate their adolescence, on their way to becoming a fully bonafide adult!
Adolescence is that time period between childhood and adulthood that’s filled with change, discovery and growth. Your child is not only growing physically but emotionally and psychologically too. Understanding more about your kid’s health (both physical and mental) during this period can help you to be a more empathetic, understanding, and helpful parent during this time. Betterhelp has a wealth of resources to help you understand more about adolescence, what to expect, and how to support your child during this time.
It’s normal to worry about your child making the same mistakes you did during adolescence but trying to control outcomes can easily backfire. Many times, the only way to learn from mistakes is to make them ourselves. While it is important to remind your child about the dangers of decisions that can have lifelong consequences, try to be realistic about your expectations. Your child will certainly make mistakes— focus on helping them avoid the major ones! For example, this Family Health and Wellness post can help you talk to your child about alcohol use and this BetterHelp article can provide you with tips for dealing with adolescent eating disorders.
Your child is becoming an adult— help them become properly equipped for the journey! Teaching your child skills like managing finances, doing their own laundry, and taking their car in for a service will help them to grow into a well-rounded adult. These skills will also help them grow their independence in a safe space, where they can lean on you if they become overwhelmed or confused.
Adolescence comes with a whole slew of emotions! Anger, frustration, sadness, and more. These emotions can lead to your child acting out with verbal aggression, aggressive outbursts or withdrawing from the family. While these are fairly common adolescent behaviors, aggression and outbursts should not be allowed to grow out of control. Instead, find time to talk to your child about how to manage their emotions. Be understanding about how they are feeling and work with them to brainstorm solutions. For example, instead of slamming your door and scaring your siblings— can you go into your room and scream into a pillow? Go on an arduous run? Put in your headphones and listen to music alone in your room?
It’s important that we practice what we preach as our child navigates their way through adolescents. We should emulate the behavior we wish to see in them. For example, if you are encouraging your child to find healthy coping strategies for angry outbursts— you should also follow the same advice when you find yourself overwhelmed, frustrated, or angry with your teen.