Are you raising happy teenagers?
As your child stops being the once talkative chatterbox and start to feel more separate and remote from you you realise they must be teenagers now.
Don’t worry — all children go through this stage, they need to go through this developmental stage of seperation and independence at home in order to cope well in the “real” world. Here are a few tips for parenting teenagers:
Happiness and the teen years really can go together ( at least a good portion of the time!)
How to Raise Happy Teenagers
On order to raise happy teenagers you have to accept they are going through a lot and their mood will be up and down and often seem dramatic. It’s hormones and massive life changes and they need your clam steady support as they go through it. Attending and attuning to their emotional health and well being is crucial at this time.
My book Be Happy Be You is a teenage guide to happiness and helps guide teens step by step through a myriad of issues from body image to healthy friendships and studying to loss. There are tons of ideas to try from creating an anxiety toolkit, to planning a digital detox and meditating, plus it contains the the science behind why they work.
Teens can carry out the activities by themselves or with family and friends and take their happiness into their own hands!
As a parent there are many things you can do in the quest to raising happy teenagers. Let’s take a look…
1. Let them have some freedom.
All children need their own space so they can develop into a unique self. Let them learn their own identity, and establish their own place in this world. Backing off can be really hard but at this stage, at east to some degree, it is really important.
2. Be reasonable if you want to raise happy teenagers.
Every parent has a dream that their child will achieve all their dream s and live their very best lie. But often, parents expect only the positive and best while pointing out the only the worst in a teenager.
There is nothing that encourages a teenager more than positive feedback from a parent.
3. Let them face consequences.
Once they hit their teens don’t swoop into rescue them form everything that goes wrong. They need to learn how to right their wrongs, fix things and deal with consequences. sit on your hands sometimes.
4. Be a role model.
Everything you do your teenager is watching. You influence the teenager more than anything, so being a good role model from the start will help the child will really help your child.
5. Set attainable goals.
Set expectations that don’t seem too far-fetched to your child. If they have trouble reaching a good grade, you shouldn’t yell at them for failing, but encourage them to do better next time, aiming for a better score.
If your child needs academic help, find out about local tutoring or after-school academic programs. If you want your child to do well in an instrument that they just aren’t succeeding at, try to find something else.
They might have a special talent they can do well in.
6. Following Through on Consequences
If you ground your child, don’t let your child drive you crazy, until the point where you un-ground them. This makes them feel that getting unpunished is just too easy.
7. Have more family time.
Just because your child is growing older doesn’t mean that spending time together isn’t as important anyone. Even if it’s just a “How was your day?”, try conversing with them as much as possible. Don’t let them travel farther and farther away just because you haven’t talked to them for a long time. If they don’t want to talk, you can try “If you don’t want to talk about it, just know that I’ve been through it too. If you ever want to talk, I’ll be here.”
8. Invite their friends over for Happy Teenagers
It’s better to meet their friends if you have any questions about who your child is hanging out with. Observing how they react in front of the parent usually helps decide if they are a good friend for your child.
Downright objecting the friendship often intensifies the interest.
9. Discuss rather than lecture.
When your child is growing, don’t treat treat them to the same old lecture and make them feel like little children. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t guide them anymore, just in a more adult manner. Talk to them as budding adults rather three year old children. As teenagers, they need some respect as well.
10. Don’t give up too soon.
Many teenagers will try to use their advantage to try and persuade you to think differently.
Face it – they are likely to test you more than once, looking for that crack in the armor.
They have the uncanny ability to test you when you have the least bit of energy left, and are tired and frustrated. Stay vigilant, be consistent, for your job is to help your child become an independent adult not to be their best mate.
More resources on raising happy teenagers
Simple advice to help you stay calm in the face of the storm that can be parenting teens.
Exercise, work experience, family time, study – these things all matter in the teen years but it really can feel a constant battle against screens. Here is how to get your kids off them ( well at least a bit more!)
They may think they want to be on their phone and hanging out with friends to the exclusion of all else but actually here are a host of lovely activity ideas for happy teenagers
A happiness journal can be a great asset for a teen – here is a look at how and why to make one.
Happy Teenagers & emotional health
I would also steer teens who might be struggling with their emotional health to seek support. As a parent you may not always be the one to help but instead be a great sign poster. Young Minds is a good starting point and a great child and teens mental health charity.