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It is very important for your teen to emotionally mature. They must experience high school drama, the pressure of college applications, and all the hormonal highs and lows of adolescence.
Ways to Help as a Parent
1. Name your Emotion
Children do not interpret well, however, they are good perceivers. Teenagers can perceive mood shifts, but they usually have a difficult time responding to those feelings appropriately. Teach your teenager to label their emotions. This will teach them the importance of emotion, as well as how to distinguish and respond to these emotions.
2. Blame Patterns
Teens assign blame during any time of wrong-doing. It is very important for teens to understand this about themselves, as well as friends and people they communicate regularly with. Does your teen always play the victim or do they blame themselves for everything? Once your teen recognizes their blame patters, they can use these skills to assist them when they are in emotional turmoil.
3. Forgiveness Program
An emotional tool that is very powerful for teens to develop is forgiveness. When your teenager is getting older, fighting and arguing in the home increases, therefore you should discuss the forgiveness program with them. Have a signal for the emotions, whether someone is angry, vulnerable, scared or disappointed. Once it is signaled, talk to them about forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean to forget, it means putting it behind you and moving forward.
Children who are able to regulate their emotions are better at self-soothing when they are angry or upset, which means they do not experience these negative emotions as long as others would that can’t regulate their emotions. Talk to your child about mistakes that have been made and how we can learn from them.
5. Feeling Bad is Ok
Our goal isn’t to prevent kids from feeling bad, but to help them understand bad feelings and move past them. Denying feelings can create future problems. Processing these feelings is actually a great lesson to help with emotional maturity, as much as we often want to tell them to just get over it.
Allow your Teen to Face Adversities in Life
It is very difficult to let go and not as simple as telling them they are on their own. Letting go is very important to help give teenagers skills for independence, and this also gives them the option to make mistakes. It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. They will need this skill to allow them to develop resilience for the future.
You are not supposed to jump in to see if mistakes are being made, but you should work on teaching core values to help your child develop a sense of purpose.
Teach good health habits to your teen. Talk to them about getting enough sleep, eating well and how to talk about feelings.
Promote a life full of meaning. Teach your teen to do positive things and promote community service.
Friendship is important, so encourage it! Show your teen that it is important to be surrounded with people who enjoy spending time with family and friends.
Value kindness. Show your teen that random acts of kindness feels really good, whether it is paying for a random person’s coffee or doing something special for a friend’s mom.
Gratitude should also be a lesson to your teen. Let your teen know how important it is to be grateful for all the good aspects in life, even when life is throwing curve balls.
Model optimism rather than pessimism. Sometimes it can be difficult to have a positive attitude, but optimism can help to teach your teen that problems cannot be solved with negativity.
Encourage your teen to pursue gratifying activities. Let your teen choose which after-school activities will make them feel successful and happy.
Just because you are letting go of some control doesn’t mean your teen can do whatever they want. Set expectations that helps motivate your teen to meet your standards, while also talking about consequences if your rules are broken.
Encourage independence so your teen can be more self-sufficient and naturally more mature.
Very importantly, positive behavior should be rewarded when positive actions are made.
Don’t only pay attention to your teen’s bad decisions! There is nothing easy about getting through this lesson in life, but the challenge is necessary and can be life altering for your teen.