In this midst of all of the worthwhile work you are doing together, it is crucial that you and your teen are also making space for the lighter things in life. In my work with parents, I use a three-pronged focus on self-care, communication, and child-centered action. Each of these elements deserves, in fact, depends on, joy… YOU and your teenager deserve to have fun and to play.
Teenagers, especially, need structure to thrive. From developing a healthy relationship with their technology and social media, to getting enough sleep (they need 9 hours on average!), to developing strong study skills or applying to college, to practicing self-care and playing, to building a social life, they have a lot to manage!
What would it be like to get notifications from people who light you up, make you laugh, inspire you? Do you got room for them? Are you making space for the new to come in? Would you like to be online less and IRL more?
In any decision-making opportunity, your teen has much to consider. They are simultaneously considering their own ideas, beliefs about what peers expect from them, thoughts about family norms, and images from media.
It’s critical for teen and young adult patients to grow in their capacity to advocate for themselves and work towards handling their healthcare independently.
Emotions and feelings that you’ve never experienced before can overwhelm you. That’s okay. Let them run their course. Feel your feels. But on the other side, there is always going to be a way to get the help you need.
The fourth agreement is an invitation to keep going and keep growing. Each of the previous agreements requires significant awareness, effort, and unlearning of old patterns, and the fourth agreement, the commitment to doing our best, is the glue that helps us stick to these new beliefs.
When asked, “How do you show your child or teen you love them?” parents say things like giving them hugs, making them breakfast, and using the words “I love you”. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. However, an even more important question to ask is: How do you speak your child or teen ’s love language? Keep reading to get easy-to-apply ideas!