Teenage years are what we all consider the most complicated stage of our lives. We experienced all sorts of disappointments, heartbreaks, stress, and trauma that made us create decisions that are often inappropriate. And now that we have become parents, we somehow feel obligated to assist our teenagers in this phase since we already suffered enough pressure from unrealistic societal standards, self-insecurities, and other mental health issues.
As parents, we have to ensure that our teens can learn to help teenagers manage their emotions. We have to do it for our children’s sake and for connecting and understanding them during their rough times. With that, we should all take note of these couple of suggestions from the professional experts.
Utilizing Non-Judgmental Language
It is easy to assume that, as parents, we know the objective of our teens’ behavior display. We often believe that everything our kids does always has a connection to their desire to seek attention. That is the first thing that would come up in our minds when we find our children a little too complicated to handle. So from there, we usually made it clear that there is constant segregation of good and bad and right and wrong. But instead of trying to tell our teens to focus on keeping away from the negative things, we should allow them to learn by the unintentional encounter. But by doing that, we need to consider not sounding like we are expressing an opinion about our kids’ behaviors. We have to be more non-judgmental and open-minded with our teens’ decisions and actions.
Accepting There Is Sometimes A Gray Area
Handling teens is not always an “All-or-nothing” battle that we often tell ourselves. The truth is, the process can be worth considering despite the mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion we might endure along the way. Yes, we can reasonably convince our kids and ourselves that we are doing the right thing. We can agree that we can create the best decisions because we already managed to get through it first. However, the situational comparison does not often fit our and our children’s experiences. Thus, we need to consider the existence of a gray area. We need to accept that even if we went through the same situation, our kids didn’t suffer the same amount of pain, anxiety, stress, and mental and emotional deterioration.
Providing Choices And Limits
It is not uncommon for us parents to set boundaries. But sometimes, we know that we can be a little too harsh on our teenagers. And admittedly, sometimes the cause of their emotional dilemma comes from us as we become unreasonable parents. And because we believe we have the right to do anything for or to them, we do not provide our children with choices and opportunities to know their limits. We often stick to what we already know because we don’t want to waste time learning the difference between our generation and theirs. So as we can see, the problem is not about what our children should do to please us. Instead, it is about what we should do to help them develop their self-compassion.
Be Willing To Renegotiate And Choose Priorities
The thing with parenting is that we assume we are always right. Even if we know we make mistakes, our children should never call us out because that would mean disrespect. Understandably, rules are rules. And as parents, our main goal is to let our teenagers understand that what we are trying to do is for their sake. However, we must consider renegotiating with them to know how they process and choose their priorities. We need to stop telling our kids what to do because that’s not how overall wellness develops. As parents, we need to show considerations so that our kids can learn to be mindful of the intentional emotional healing process.
Validating By Paying Attention
Helping our teens in clarifying their thoughts and feelings can be a tricky process. One mistake, all the efforts we put into parenting can go to waste. We must normalize our children’s feelings and behaviors to feel open to express and discuss them with us. That way, we can show them empathy and acceptance. We need to avoid telling them that their emotions are not a big deal because we managed to get rid of ours. We are adults, and they are kids. So the emotional and mental strength is far more different than what we can imagine. It would be best if we could offer self-disclosure and vulnerability when our teens are emotionally exposed. We need to learn and understand that a cooperative parent-child relationship must contain trust, acknowledgment, and support.