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Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Teenagers

Submitted by on January 9, 2014 – 6:02 pmNo Comment

Mom and Happy Teenager

How to Raise Happy, Healthy Teenagers

by Abigail Clark

Successfully raising kids and transforming them into well-rounded, responsible, and productive members of society is no simple task. It takes years of careful guidance and patient teaching to raise kids who can care for themselves, standing on their own two feet. Most importantly, your goal is to raise them to be healthy and happy, above everything else. Here’s a look at some insightful tips on doing just that.

Remember the Big Picture

As easy as it is to get caught up in the test scores, dating debacles, moral conundrums, and attitude adjustments, remember what you’re working for. The overarching goal is for your kids to be happy, healthy, and productive members of society, and ultimately fend for themselves someday.

It’ll seem bleak at times, and you may feel like they’re so far from relating to you that your household structure is spiraling out of control. Remind yourself of your goals and purposefully working toward them will help your entire family through these times. Doing so will help you turn hard times into life lessons, and will help you avoid the pettiness of power struggles many parents battle with their teens.

Speak Their Language

Or rather, teach them yours and pick up on theirs. Effective communication skills are absolutely necessary in a household with children and teenagers. Teaching your teens to communicate effectively with you and the rest of your family will not only make life easier for your family unit, but it’ll also give them the tools they need to succeed beyond the walls of your home.

Remember that communication is more than simply learning to speak articulately. It means being able to objectively explain their emotions and thought process so that you can have insightful discussions about issues that pop up. Being able to think critically this way will help your teenagers better analyze major decisions that’ll inevitably pop up along the way.

When challenges present themselves, your teenager will be fully equipped to make a well-thought-out, educated decision that will make you proud. As part of your communication efforts, talk to your kids about the issues that plague most teens today. Help them develop a plan for dangerous situations, and arm them with the information they’ll need to make the right decisions. Go over the effects of both illicit and prescription drug abuse, as well as alcohol and sexual health factors that’ll likely affect them at some point.

Build Their Confidence and Nurture Their Self-Esteem

Being a teenager can be a miserable experience. Much of the misery and awkwardness that embodies the teen years stems from an inner sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. Combat this by building their confidence through encouraging them to participate in activities they particularly excel at. Furthermore, nurture their self-esteem by praising their successes and not dwelling on their failures.

It’s important to do this naturally. Teenagers will sense insincere confidence boosters and will begin to question your praise. Raising a confident young adult with a healthy self-esteem will allow you to worry less about their daily activities as they mature, because they’ll be more capable and likely to make positive choices.

Be Fair and Consistent in Your Discipline

Each set of parents has their own ideas when it comes to discipline. Whether you take an authoritative or permissive approach, it’s important to recognize the weaknesses of each and be consistent.

Furthermore, you’ll need to embrace the very real possibility that you’ll be wrong sometimes. Some people believe it’s important to raise kids who respectfully question authority when situations call for it. Be prepared for this and understand that a well-rounded approach to discipline could be your saving grace.

Lots of parents struggle to find a balance between being their teen’s friend and being their parents. If you approach it right, you can be both. Establish a healthy relationship that evolves around mutual respect and love, and you and your teenager will be able to tackle any challenge that life throws your way.

There’s no right or wrong way to be a parent. All parents have their own ideals and morals and approach child-rearing differently. Developing a consistent, well-communicated strategy with your partner, and employing that with your teenager will help you raise happy healthy teens who will someday grow to be your friend and lifelong ally.

 

Abigail ClarkAbigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. Find Abigail on Twitter at @downtownabby17.

 

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