The teenage years can be hard on everyone. Whether you’re the parent of a teen or a teenager yourself, you likely know all about the ups and downs of the teen years. While there will be great days with major milestones and laughs, the harder days are sure to come too. As a parent, you likely wonder how to best support your teenager through the highs and lows of this wild time in anyone’s life. For a few ways that you can help your teen make it through, read on.
Few would argue that the teenage years aren’t hard. For some teens, low self-esteem and confidence can make this awkward period even more challenging. If you have a teenager who struggles with self-esteem, one way to help is by offering them tools and resources to feel more confident. From that new haircut or outfit to a beautiful smile with affordable braces, something as simple as the right orthodontic care could add up to your teen feeling better about themselves.
The reality is that this generation of teenagers has the additional pressures of social media, Instagram filters, and a big focus on how their worlds look in pictures. While the cost of braces might seem like a lot, helping your teen to feel better about how they look could be as simple as opting for Invisalign over traditional braces or contact lenses over glasses.
Reminding your teen how special they are, whether they want to hear it or not, is important as well.
Like anyone, many teens use their religion or belief systems to get through hard times. In allowing your teenager to decide what their beliefs are, you’ll be giving them another tool to get through hard days. For example, maybe you aren’t Catholic, but your teen is affiliated with the church and recently earned their confirmation certificate. You could support them with a confirmation gift, new bible, or even rides to a favorite youth group or bible study class. In encouraging your teen to come up with their own beliefs and affiliations, you’ll be telling them you believe in them.
While it can be difficult for parents to listen without judgment, lectures, or speeches, the truth is that your teen will trust you more if you make it a habit of listening without interjecting your own beliefs into conversations. It’s okay for your child to make mistakes, to do things differently than you might do them, and to learn lessons from their decisions.
As a parent, it’s your job to help your teenager avoid choices that could hurt or damage them for the long term. However, in letting the little things go and understanding that your child is not the same person as you, you might be surprised how much your teen trusts you and will tell you the truth.
The best parents understand that their children should not be expected to be their clones. It’s normal for teens to have their own interests, passions, and goals. Do what you can to support your child’s interests without imposing your own dreams and goals on them. One of the best parts about being a parent is watching your child become the person they hope to be. You can be part of this if you encourage authenticity.
While it might not feel that way now, there will come a time when you miss your teenager’s ups and downs. By the time your children are fully grown and independent adults, the trials you’re going through now will be something to laugh about. In taking the time to support your teen now, your bond will be all the stronger and, before you know it, it’ll be your children calling to ask you what they should do about their teenager. Enjoy these moments now.