As a parent, you have also gone through the teenager phase, but it has been a while, and you cannot recall much of it. You have a teenager now but are clueless on how to handle them, guide them, and what to watch out for as they go through the adolescent phase. Teenagers go through a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual changes that affect their behavior and also their mental health. At this stage, they need help figuring out some things where you as the parent come in. It may be difficult to note these changes; thus, here is a guideline on teen health and how to parent during the adolescent stage.
1. Look for signs
Teenagers want to feel independent and responsible, and they tend to pull away from their parents at this time. Some signs are obvious, like the appearance of acne correlating with their change in mood, but others are harder to detect. It can be hard to notice any signs in behavior or attitude change since your teenager is now becoming more independent. Luckily, there are signs you can look for to determine if your teenager is having a difficult time or not. You can look at their social habits, dressing habits, changes in weight, a sudden shift in moods and activities they perform.
2. Educate yourself
Since it has been a while for you as a parent, you may not understand the challenges that your teenager is facing that is affecting their mental and physical health. To refresh your memory, educate yourself on adolescence and related issues. Read about what they struggle with and ways to cope with their issue as a parent and as the teenager. If your teenager has to enter a rehab program, research adolescent treatment to arm yourself with knowledge and insights. When you are educated, you will be more understanding of their feelings and mood changes.
3. Talk to your teenager
Having a healthy relationship with your teenager will help them go through the many changes of adolescence. It will also encourage your teenager to come forward when they are struggling instead of opting for other harmful solutions like drug use. Have a talk with your teenager about their feelings, body changes, and sex. Such talks educate them a lot and teach them responsibility and care, especially when it comes to sex and menstruation. If you cannot answer some of the questions, your teenager has, find someone who can. The earlier you talk to your teenager about adolescence, the easier it will be for both of you.
4. Practice patience and understanding
Having a teenager can be difficult because one minute they are acting grown up and fine, and the next they are throwing tantrums like a kid. The last thing you want to do is get riled up about their tantrums and mood changes. This only encourages them to do worse, and they will feel unsupported. Instead, have patience with your teenager and try and understand what they are going through by putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine going through countless of emotions each day that you do not even understand? Asking yourself such questions will make this period much easier for you.
These guidelines are essential if you want to maintain a close relationship with your teenager and help them through adolescence. Your teenager’s mental and physical health is vital to their well-being. Thus, you should offer support throughout adolescence. Above all, respect the privacy of your teenager.
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