Raising a teenager… it can be a full time job. It can be tough, but it also has it’s amazing, fun, and beautiful moments. If you’re a parent to a teen, or a soon-to-be teen, you may have some questions about how to raise a happy, healthy teenager.
You may have heard other parents talk about how difficult it is to raise teenagers. Between the moodiness and all the drama it can be a very stressful time for the whole family but don’t let that discourage you. It is possible to raise happy, well adjusted teenagers that are ready to venture out and begin their life as a young adult.
Here are a few tips on how to raise a happy, healthy teenager:
- Set rules and enforce them. Teenagers need rules and boundaries to help keep them on track. By setting rules and enforcing them, you’re making it easier for your teen to make good choices and do what he knows is right instead of following the crowd.
- Don’t allow your teen to stay up all night playing video games, talking on social media or messaging his friends. It’s important for teens to get plenty of rest so they are able to keep up with their active schedules.
- Teenagers do need their rest but they should also be physically active during the day and socialize with friends their own age. It’s not healthy for a teen to spend all of his free time alone. Help keep him busy with after school and family activities.
- Make sure he’s eating healthy. Teenagers have a tendency to skip meals and eat junk food but it’s not good for him. Eating right is a vital part of keeping your teen healthy.
- Listen when your teenager talks to you about school, friends or any other subject and make eye contact as they speak. You can tell a lot by watching his body language and it will help you determine what questions to ask to learn more about your teen’s true feelings.
- Don’t try to control your teenager’s every move or be over protected. This is the time in their life when they need to make some of their own decisions and learn how to be responsible. If he does make a mistake, let him know you are there for him.
- Choose your battles. Do you really want to cause fiction because you disagree on who starred in a specific movie? In other words, let your teen be right once in a while instead of always contradicting him. It will help to teach him how to be considerate and form good, stable relationships with the people he meets in life.
- Discuss your beliefs with your teen but don’t try to force them to believe everything you do. They are individuals and entitled to believe the way they want even if it is different from what you believe. Be open-minded and listen to their reasons for believing something different, it may surprise you.
- Be understanding and supportive instead of critical. Instead of criticizing and telling your teen they need to change something, explain why it is a problem and your reasons for wanting them to do better. Explaining will be much more effective than criticizing.
- Encourage your teen to put forth an effort and push to reach his goals but don’t push too hard. Teenagers deal with a lot on a daily basis and pressuring him to make excellent grades or to engage in too many activates can be overwhelming and cause problems.
These tips are as simple and easy to implement as they are effective. They will help bridge the gap between you and your child and help ensure your teenager is happy and healthy.