If you’re the parent of an adolescent, you might be wondering how to help them cope with the stress of getting older in a healthy way. Maybe your child is in middle school, and they’re worried about the transition to high school. Perhaps your child is currently in high school, and they’re weighing their choices for their next steps.

This phase of life can be confusing. Adolescents take on increasing responsibilities with each passing year. This helps them learn and grow. Yet it also means that they face bigger consequences for their mistakes. As they figure out their own identities independent of their parents, they also start considering what they want for themselves in adulthood. Here’s how to support your child during their time.

Setting Realistic Goals

Perhaps your adolescent feels a bit lost. Maybe they’re pressuring themselves to keep up with their friends in certain areas, or maybe they can’t decide what they should be working towards past high school.

Talk to your child about setting some realistic goals that give them a sense of direction without putting too much pressure on them. Remind them that they do not need to compare themselves with anyone else, and that everyone is on their own timeline.

Work on Emotional Regulation

Yes, adolescents can be prone to mood swings. Furthermore, teens often deal with complex situations regarding friendships and their first romantic relationships. Since they’ve never dealt with some of these situations before, they can’t help but react with intense emotions.

You can help your adolescent develop emotional regulation skills. Introducing them to a good outlet for stress, like a sport or creative activity, can be a good step in the right direction. Additionally, you can practice using a healthier approach to conflict yourself. Remember, adolescents will still imitate their parents’ conduct.

Building Healthy Relationships

When your adolescent expresses their fears and concerns about the future, remind them that no matter what happens, having strong relationships with their loved ones can help them make it through the hardest challenges. Model healthy relationships in your own household.

Listen to your adolescent when they discuss friendship problems rather than dismissing these issues as “teenage drama.”

Focus on the Possibilities

There is so much more to life than high school. But for adolescents, it can be hard to see beyond that. On the other hand, adolescents may feel nervous about life beyond high school and their hometowns, and the number of different paths they could take might make them worry that they’ll choose the wrong one.

Talk to your child about these possibilities in a way that emphasizes the excitement of young adult life. Let them know that it’s okay if they end up working in a field that differs from their college major, or if they would prefer to pursue career paths that don’t require a particular degree. They don’t need to know their ideal career path right away. Exploring different options is fine.

Remind Them You Will Be There for Them

With increasing independence comes increasing responsibility. But this does not mean that you are simply going to leave your adolescent child completely to their own devices, now or in the future.

Many adolescents today worry about economic instability and rising costs of living. Your child might fear that they won’t be able to stand on their own two feet. Reassure them that you will be there to help when they need it.

Is your adolescent feeling stressed about the future? They might find relief by talking to a therapist. Contact Us to discuss your options for scheduling a therapy session for your teen.




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