The teenage years can be a challenge. So much is changing in a young person’s life during this time! From determining who they are and who they want to be to navigating the changes in their bodies and hormones, it’s a lot to tackle. And as a loving parent, you want to help your teen succeed! That’s why even the most involved parents can benefit from some teen coping skills to help your child thrive during this up-and-down time.
Here are some of our favorite coping skills to use with your teenager, no matter the situation.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
There’s a reason that talk therapy is so popular: it works. Talking it out can be a huge benefit for a teenager who can often feel as if they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. The way to be successful when communicating with your teens is to provide a judgment-free zone where they feel comfortable sharing their feelings without fear of repercussions. Even if their concerns seem trivial to you, they can feel like the end of the world to them, so be open and empathetic. Encourage your teenager to share and avoid jumping in with solutions; sometimes, just getting it off their chest is enough to help them feel better.
Break the Routine
Some teen coping skills may feel like avoiding the issue but breaking the routine could also be the best reset for a young person. If they’re struggling with a homework assignment, maybe a brief outing is the solution. A teenager can get deep into the woods with an issue, taking it on as an all-consuming challenge that can’t be easily overcome. And that can cause them to close up emotionally. Instead of pushing them through the situation and creating more frustration, stop and do something else for a bit. Even a quick walk with the dog, helping with something else around the house, or playing a game is all that’s needed to get refocused and see the issue in a whole-new light.
Do Something Fun
Adults often cope with stress by doing something they enjoy, such as exercise, spending time with friends, reading a book, or watching a movie. The same approach to managing stress can work for a teenager. What does your child like to do? Doing something fun is one of the teen coping skills that can stick with them as they grow and mature, providing them with a positive alternative to stress.
Maintain Healthy Habits
As much as teenagers might be able to live on pizza, Twinkies, and candy or stay up until all hours of the night, healthy habits make for much better teen coping skills. Support your child’s better-for-them choices, such as a smart diet full of good foods and developing a consistent sleep schedule. Incorporating regular physical exercise will create that much-touted triumvirate that builds a solid foundation as they grow.
Be a Good Role Model
One of the best ways to help your child develop great teen coping skills is to model them yourself. Don’t just tell them how to handle stress and cope with the ups and downs of life; show them by doing it all yourself. Even if teens act as if they’re not listening, they are. As a parent, and one of the most important people in their lives, you can do a lot to help them by:
- Openly communicating your feelings. Talk about your day and your relationships, the good and bad.
- Being a facilitator when the routine gets stagnant. Suggest a road trip, change of scenery, or just a stop at the local ice cream shop.
- Having fun and letting your children know you’re enjoying doing your thing, even if it’s not with them. They’ll see you prioritizing your self-care, which will prompt them to do the same.
- Practicing healthy eating, a good sleep schedule, and incorporating regular exercise. Invite your teenager to join you by planning a meal or two or going on a bike ride with you.
The more you can live a life that is real, including celebrating highs and discussing the lows, the better you’ll be able to model teen coping skills for your children. And that will set them up for a lifetime of success.
Teen Coping Skills and Healthy Living
Community Choice is here to help your teenagers stay happy and healthy as they navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood. At our practice, we welcome all children, and we meet our patients where they are. If you need a supportive pediatrician, contact us to schedule an appointment.