Updated: Nov 10, 2021
Do you have a teenage girl or boy living in your home and find yourself wondering where that little girl or boy went? Does it feel like he/she changed overnight and you don’t know who she/he is anymore? It’s just growing pains - relax and breathe. Namaste.
On a certain level, I don’t think our teenagers are that different from us. As women and men, we struggle with relationships, stress, making healthy choices, prioritizing responsibilities, advocating for ourselves, and being more mindful about our reactions.
We don’t have life figured out, so why do we get so frustrated when our teens don’t have the right answers? Why do we get frustrated when they keep repeating the same unhealthy behaviors over and over?
Let’s put ourselves in their shoes with some good old fashioned perspective taking. You could not pay me any amount of money to take me back to those hormonal and emotional teenage years.
Back in the day when we were stressed out, we would put on our roller skates and meet up with friends at the playground. Nowadays, they self-isolate in their bedrooms and turn to social media as a stress reliever. As adults, we know that social media only creates more anxiety and stress. Teenagers don’t understand this concept and convincing them of it is a losing battle.
I firmly believe in the mind-body connection, and modeling this philosophy for our girls and boys will help them deal with their inner struggles. Yes, they have struggles...just like we do. As women and men, we know we are better able to show up and deal with those struggles when we feel our best and look our best.
What does this look like? Making exercise a priority, eating healthy foods, connecting with friends, and practicing self-care.
I have been counseling teenagers for over 20 years and in my experience,most of them make unhealthy decisions because they don’t have not learned appropriate coping skills.
Recently, more and more teens are diagnosed with anxiety. They are growing up in a very fast=paced world and teaching them to “stay in the moment,” protects them from worrying too much about the future. We like to call this “future tripping.”
Teens need to be empowered to control those things that they can control and come to the realization that some things are beyond their control. Putting their positive energy into the things that they can control allows them to be more purposeful in their intentions.
Mindfulness can help them with emotional self-regulation, anger management, self-esteem, and anxiety. Teaching teens relaxation and breathing techniques can give them portable tools that they can use whenever they find themselves involved in a stressful situation or better yet - preparing them for an upcoming stress-inducing situation.
There are some really trendy mindfulness phrases that you have probably seen on social media when you have been scrolling on your phone. Yes, admit it - you love your smartphone almost as much as they do. Share them with your teen and practice them yourself….
~stay in the moment
~let it go
` ~Just breathe