Self-care is just as important for our teens as it is for ourselves.
While those of us who are older often long for our younger days, being a teenager is an especially stressful time considering the ever-growing list of competing demands for their time. Teenagers must: go to school (and get good grades), participate in extracurricular activities, find a group of friends to be a part of, navigate dating relationships, decide a path for their future manage any stressors at home, and oh yea, find themselves.
Tips & Details on Self-care
Why self-care for teens?
Teenagers are in a weird space where they’re growing out of childhood and into adulthood. New responsibilities mixed with differing maturity levels makes for much of the stress you as a parent are probably feeling right now. It is important that you role model for your teen how to respect and care for oneself. The sooner they learn this skill, the more successful they will be in their futures (which equals less stress for you as well).
Talking Points & Tips
Teens may not understand if you ask them directly about their “self-care” habits. Try asking different questions about stressors, or needing a break:
- How are you feeling with school and your other responsibilities? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
- What is difficult about being your age or living your life?
- Would you like some time to take a break and relax?
Teaching Teens to Ask for Help
As with parents, sometimes self-care isn’t enough for our teens. Being a teenager is tough, and trying to recognize the difference between normal teenage angst and something deeper is not a task parents should have to tackle alone. Having open, regular conversations with your teen about the topics in this app will set you up for more honest conversations about when they are struggling and need help. Share with your teen times when you asked for help, to make them feel more secure in doing it themselves.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your teen has a few healthy adult relationships outside of their parent. This may include a guidance counselor at school, a teacher, and adult at church, a friend’s parent, an older cousin, an aunt or uncle, a peer group, etc. Ensuring your teen has support systems in place in addition to yourself can be critical to being sure they will have help when they need it.
Talking Points & Tips
Make sure your teen knows you are available to talk with them or help them find someone to talk with. Even if they don’t take you up on your offer immediately, they might one day:
- I want you to know that you can always come to me if you are feeling overwhelmed or need a break. I will try and do the same with you.
- Would you be interested in talking to someone besides me? Maybe a school counselor, a counselor outside your school or a peer support group?
- What is one thing you need right now to help you feel calm?