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Ways You Can Support Your Teen’s Health

Starting this week, we will be refocusing self-care tips and food for thought toward the youth in our lives. It’s so important that they are given the tools to manage their stress and become self-advocates for their mental health. Today’s topic is what YOU can do to begin supporting them on this journey of self-love and care.

  1. Allow them a safe space to share their feelings: What does this look like? Here are a few ideas.

    • Consistent check ins. Figure out a daily task you can do together that gives you time to ask questions, see what’s happening in their lives, and gives them the chance to open up to you.

    • Give constant reminders that you are always there for them. That you are a safe harbor from judgement or punishment when they need you the most. You want them to feel comfortable enough to come to you when they need help or have concerns.

    • Acknowledge their emotions, even if you don’t understand or agree. Validate how they feel in a way that makes them realize they are being heard and respected.

    • Focus on their little successes when you realize you may be too focused on what they may be doing “wrong”. Bring them up any chance you get.

2. Teamwork

  • Work through arising issues together. Remember to stay calm and listen before jumping to action or conclusions.

  • Always take a step back if your own emotions get the best of you. It’s better to walk away and calm down before continuing to solve a problem.

  • Avoid power struggles. Understand that your youth might also be feeling powerless and try to empathize with their desire to assert control when they can.

  • Be candid and transparent with them. They learn from you, and if you show that you’re only human and also have to work through difficult emotions and that they will learn how to process in a healthy way also.

3. Take care of YOU

  • Teens learn so much by what is role modeled at home. If you are prioritizing self-care and showing them how you work through stress, they will internalize it and learn to also make it a priority.

  • Teach them during any available chance that mental care IS health care.

  • Be sure to ask for help when you are overwhelmed. Show them that it’s okay to need help through the tough times.

  • Make time to practice self-care activities during the week, better yet make them a part of it if you can. Show them what you do to reset and focus on your mental health.

  • Try different positive coping strategies that work for you. Some ideas include: exercising, talking with friends, making to-do lists etc.

We hope this helps you get started with supporting your teen and their mental health!

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