Oh to be a teenager again…
All those hormones running riot.
It’s so difficult and as adults dealing with teens we need to remember how difficult it actually felt. Not be wishing we were younger again.
Teens are an at an unusual stage of development. Neither child nor adult. They wish to hold on to the joys of being a child but be trusted with responsibilities like an adult; who they socialise with, what they eat, pocket money, going out, attempting independence and yet not quite ready for the change.
I have a teen at home and as you guessed I have been researching a lot on how to help overcome some of the anxiety, moods and issues of coping with teenage behaviour.
Firstly, we always believe we know best, but do we? When it comes to technology they certainly seem to know much more, be more capable and savvy. Yet we try to tell them what they cannot engage with using technology. In our days there were no internet stars, making millions but at some point. Something changed. A young person took a leap and made a computer program and made their fortune. A young person created internet videos which people pay to view, they make millions. A young person allows a camera to follow them day to day, from the mundane to slightly entertaining. Guess what? They make millions.
My point here is, this is their time. I’m not saying older people are useless. Younger people’s brains are developing quicker, creating new synapses and links, ideas come so quickly and those ideas with today’s technology can become reality. One we were never exposed too. Don’t dismiss their dreams of becoming an internet star, creating games, developing new strange ways of life; it is possible.
Teens require a lot of reassurance. At this age we tend to leave them alone. But this can be bad for their mental health. They over think, it’s normal for them to do this. A little issue quickly escalates into a big problem. Reassure them that it’s okay to talk things through. Allocate a 30 minute time slot before tea to let them get out any worries of the day. After that time reassure that everything is going to be ok. They have expressed their worries out loud and now it is time to stop and relax. Think now of positive things.
You know that row you had last year, or that’s road rage incident? Well your teen will remember every single moment and forms an opinion of you, a notion of behaviour. It may even be impacting their mental health right now. What you forget and move on from, they analyse; unconsciously, they don’t move on from it, it’s a memory stored like an elephant. Watch your behaviour and set good examples. I guarantee they will remember every single argument. The brain can only store so much, it will replace those happy memories with bad ones. Before long they will believe they had a childhood full of arguments and road rage, not trips to the park and seaside.
Daily use of technology is normal. Some encouragement to leave that blue light behind at bedtime and colour, read, play a family game, anything non phone related; will help them sleep at a more normal time, drink milk to increase melatonin and trying calming things down before bed. Turn off the WiFi after 10pm and have a general house rule. More sleep equals better moods.
I have a tonne of suggestions so will write more another day. But now, I hope that it’s all food for thought and can help your teen and you cope just a little bit better.
Let me know how you get on well with your teens and hints, let’s share and create a healthier home life.