Guest Author - Elaine Anderson
Parents'forming good relationships with their adolescence children is a key factor in enabling teens to develop in to fully rounded individuals.
The teenage years are all about learning who they are and how to live life. Teenagers will begin to encounter a growing array of situations, which are new, exciting and sometimes challenging. They are constantly forming their own opinions, looking to their future ambitions and developing relationships. In essence, they are exploring their own identity and at times they may find this time to be a series of mental and physical challenges.
Peer pressure can have a real effect on teenagers. School work, body changes, pressures from the media and social networking, along with a whole host of other situations can be puzzling for them. But fear not, here are a few coping skills that you as a parent can use to help your teen:
*Keep a watchful eye on your child at home to ensure that they are sleeping enough, and eating properly. If they display any worrying behavior then you may consider seeking professional advice immediately. If it is something you don't feel confident in confronting, speak to others who may offer support.
*Communicate with your child daily. You should check in with how their day went, how they are feeling about things, and generally make sure that your child knows that they can talk with you. It is a good habit to talk and make sure time is set aside each day for family chat, perhaps at the dinner table over the evening meal.
*Respect that your teenager's problems are things that are important to them. Never belittle their concerns, and don't mock them for speaking out about trivial things. You want them to know and feel that they can come to you about anything.
*Remember that they are still children and that they look to you for help. Set a good example for managing worries and problems, working out solutions calmly and rationally.
*Encourage your teenager not to be a loner, as taking part in activities such as sports can be a good stress reliever. Teenagers need to talk, form strong peer bonds, and feel part of a social network. Groups may help your child, but are not for everyone.
*Stress can isolate any person, and so if they will not talk to you (the parent) then ensure there is someone else they can confide in.
Remember that stress is a part of life, but learning to cope with it early can work wonders and set a pattern for how you child deals with things into adulthood.