How To Support Your Teen Through Tough Times

Teenagers can face tough times as they make their way through life and sometimes, they can find themselves overwhelmed and stressed.

There are moments that make our lives tough and teenagers are no different. When your teenager has an issue, it is important that you step in and help guide them through life’s difficulties.

Here are some tips on helping your teenager and how to encourage them to get through life’s little or big step backs. 

Know that you can’t save them.

One of the hardest things as a parent is recognising that you can’t save your child from every upsetting thing in life and most importantly, you can’t fix everything either. Teenagers must go through some tough times, for whatever reason and it isn’t your job to stop everything from happening though you would like to. 

Teach your teen about resilience.

Things happen in life that can upset your teenager but try your best to teach them about resilience and not letting others control their journey in life.

Showing your child how to manage their emotions when things don’t go their way is one of life’s most important lessons. Teach your teen to talk about what is going on in their life, support them when things go wrong (like a bad test result or getting dropped from a team sport) and let them be sad for a while before getting them back up again! 

Encourage them to find positives during tough times.

Sometimes it can be hard to see the positives in life when negative things are happening, but your teenager needs to spend time looking for the good in every day.

This is something parents and families should do, as a rule, to encourage good and positive thoughts. It can be little things like spending time with a friend, getting a chocolate bar you love or having extra time to yourself.

Ask your teen to list some good things every day or keep a gratitude journal - these little positive thoughts will allow your teen to know that while they are having a rough time, there is still good in the world. 

Talk to your teenager.

Talking to your teen is tough especially if your teen doesn’t want to chat about their life but persevere and try your best. Taking teens away from their normal surroundings can help. Talking to your teen ‘one on one’ is best as they get undivided attention.

One of the hardest things as a parent is recognising that you can’t save your child from every upsetting thing in life

Pick your time well, as you can’t listen properly if you are still in work mode and your phone is interrupting your chats while out and about with your teen.

Put aside the time and go do something they love for a few hours to help them. If they don’t want to go out, you could go to their room and offer them a tub of ice cream or some sort of snack they like. This breaks the ice and gets you both talking. 

Plan ahead.

In some cases, life’s little or big issues can be easily sorted but others take a lot of time and effort. If your teenager is worried about what happens now, make sure you help them manage the confusion and anxiety.

Offer solutions to the issue, encourage your teen to eat and sleep well so they are in good health as well as planning for the problem itself. It might be that you could sort it out or your teenager may find a solution but make sure you explore all avenues together, so your teenager doesn’t feel lonely in their journey through it. 


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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