It seems the teen years are wrought with challenges and difficulties. Looking back on your teen years, you probably remember the angst and upset that went along with some of the issues you faced. Some teen issues can be solved easily, while others take more time. Good parent-child communication is a vital part of working through the difficulties faced during the teen years.
Pay attention to your teen's behavior and discuss problems with him to understand the source of stress. Initiate a discussion to help your child identify the cause of trouble so you can both work it through.
Actively listen, rather than do all the talking. This shows him you're invested in the situation. Ask your teen for ideas on how to handle the situation, and use those as a starting point for working toward a solution.
Provide guidance and support when your teen experiences difficulty in coming up with possible solutions for an issue. Understand that the amount of physical, mental, emotional and social growth your child is going through can make it downright difficult for him to figure out how to solve a problem.
Model effective, positive problem-solving skills in the home so your teen can see the techniques you suggest in action.
Touch base with your child each day to keep the conversation going. Check in to see if things have improved so you can discuss other options, if needed.
Enlist the support of other influential people in your teen's life, such as a coach, teacher or youth group leader. Realize that when your words fall on deaf ears, the guidance of another respected adult can fill in the gaps.
Step in on your teenager's behalf if the matter at hand threatens his health and safety. Seek advice from your child's pediatrician if you need expert guidance on how to handle a particular issue.
- It's important to allow your teen to solve his own problem when appropriate or possible, but he will still need your guidance and advocacy during many challenging situations.
- Intercede on your teen's behalf when a troubling situation, such as bullying or substance abuse, threatens his well-being.
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: The Teen Brain--Behavior, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Helping Teenagers with Stress
- HealthyChildren.org: Everybody Gets Mad
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Teenagers (15-17 Years of Age)
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