If you’re parenting a teenager who’s feeling anxious or low right now, you’re not alone. A recent report from the CDC has highlighted that 44% of high school students feel sad or hopeless regularly.
The events of the last few years have exposed families to unprecedented levels of stress and uncertainty. And teenagers – old enough to follow the news – can feel the tensions around them. But they might not feel experienced or mature enough to process it all. As a result they have been left in limbo.
As a parent looking to create a harmonious, healthy family unit, you may find that some of the common issues between parents and teens have been exacerbated, while new concerns have now been created.
The landscape for raising teenagers has shifted slightly. No worries – I’m here to help!
Plus I founded a groundbreaking video course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love sharing insights and strategies to help people to be happier and healthier.
So I put together this article to help parents – by sharing some things that your teenager might need from you.
3 Things Your Teenager Needs From You – The Parent
Here’s what your young adult needs from you – the parent – now more than ever.
It is estimated that children between the age of 2 and 5 ask on average 40,000 questions. The unpredictability and uniqueness of the last couple of years has demonstrated, however, that parents and grown ups don’t always have all the answers.
For teenagers, this may be particularly alarming. That trusted source of stability, the people they rely on (however old fashioned or outdated they may seem) can also be uncertain or anxious. In order to nurture and maintain healthy family relationships, you need to keep the lines of communication with your teenager open.
Let them see that sometimes you don’t have all the answers, but that it’s okay. Show them where you find sources of information that you trust, and let them see you practicing gratitude for the things that do go well.
Perhaps recent years have forced your teenager to grow up a little, and they’ve got a taste for independence which they’d like to pursue further. Or, perhaps your own concerns and fears have caused you to hold on to them a little more tightly.
Either way, the chances are that by now, your teenager is ready for more freedom.
In order to help them become responsible, well adjusted adults, you need to ensure that they have the tools and life skills that they need.
A prime example is understanding their finances. A 2021 study by the AICPA found that a quarter of American adults don’t have a financial plan. By making money a priority with your teenager, you are showing that you respect their intelligence and believe they are ready to effectively manage their finances. Spending time together to establish financial life lessons helps to boost their independence and confidence.
One huge thing that many families have been lacking recently is the opportunity for a little fun and adventure. Whether it’s due to health concerns, financial constraints or the general busyness of life, adventures have been put on hold recently, but for many teenagers, these are perhaps the last few years when they may be willing to holiday as a family. This may explain why 53% of Americans have ambitious vacation plans this year.
Even if you’re not in a position to blow the budget, what could you plan to reignite your own sense of adventure, and create some happy memories together as a family?
After a challenging period, your teenager may be looking to you to reset the pace. By letting them see how you handle setbacks and encouraging their own independence, you are giving them vital tools for adulthood.
Opening yourselves up to adventure together also shows that there’s still plenty to look forward to and enjoy together; a family that has weathered the storm can enjoy the sunshine too.
Explore my therapist recommended digital course: The Anxiety Cure.