It isn’t easy being a teenager. There is no shortage of hormones, social dynamics, and emotions involved. With the takeover of the internet, social media, and technology, it has become even more complex. As a parent, you want to help your child, but you also didn’t grow up in the world that they live in. Whatever your kid is going through, there are many ways to help them navigate the social perils of teenage existence. Below are some tips for helping them through it all.
Encourage Them to Limit Social Media & Be Realistic About It
One thing that is making the social dynamics of being a teenager worse is social media. The internet has changed growing up forever. Kids today get involved with a lot of different things that older people didn’t have to deal with. You should encourage them to limit their social media intake. Explain to them that they will feel better. They will also be more realistic about the world. Show them that the world of social media isn’t the world of real life. If you talk to your children about the reality of the situation, they will be a lot better off in their teenage years.
Give Them Advice about Relationships
Another way to help your kids through the teenage years is to give them advice about relationships. Teen friendship advice is very valuable. There are a lot of social subtleties to making and keeping friends during this portion of your life. Talk to them gently but let them know that relationships don’t always last. Explain that relationships take work and if you don’t put in the work, the relationship dies. If you help them cope with life and all the relationship ins and outs, they will be able to cope better and learn how to navigate their relationships more effectively.
Don’t Be Too Strict
The worst thing you can do is be too strict with your teenagers. Teenagers rebel against confinement. It’s important to set ground rules, but you also need to allow them to explore. Instead of telling them “No drugs,” explain why drugs are bad for them and what they do to people. You should also be honest about the benefits of some drugs and explain to them why some people use drugs. Allow them to go to parties and have fun but emphasize safety and well-being. You shouldn’t necessarily be the “cool parent” but you shouldn’t be too strict either.
Offer Tools to Help with Social Anxiety
A lot of kids grow up with social anxiety, especially in school. However, there are so many tools to deal with it that you shouldn’t sit back and do nothing. Talk to your child. When they are describing social anxiety, offer them the following tools.
For example, you can encourage deep breaths. Focusing on breathing is one of the best ways to lower anxiety. Tell them to count backwards from ten. Offer them grounding techniques like holding onto an ice cube. Ask them why they are feeling the way they do and provide solutions by explaining the reality of the situation. Teenagers don’t yet truly understand anxiety. You’ll have to help them through it.
Emphasize Common Interests
Often teenagers don’t know how to talk to each other. One way to help your kids through this is to emphasize common interests. They will be able to talk to other teenagers about what they are interested in a lot easier than striking small talk. Encourage them to meet up with people to do activities they enjoy. Even if the teenager is anxious about it, putting in the work to meet with people and do something they both enjoy will ease anxiety and help them grow.
Teenagers are at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives. Emotions are flying. Hormones are running wild. There is a lot of social peril involved with growing up. Everyone needs guidance to figure out these emotions and how to navigate the world. There’s no shame in walking your kids through the problems they have socially. It’s hard to relate to people as an adult, imagine how hard it is as a teenager.