As a Teen and Millennial, I get the honor of creating safe spaces to support teens in figuring “it” out. I say the word “it” loosely because “it’ can stand for many things like; “Who am I?” or “Where do I fit in?” Pretty complex questions huh? In addition to the emotional transition, let’s add puberty and cognitive transitions, in which their brain and body are literally.
Looking for tips you can start using today?
Here are four ways that you as parent, caregiver, educator, etc. can support your transitional teen:
Identify mental health and wellness services
Search for the psychology department and/or counseling centers near you.
Sometimes support may look like connecting them to resources that can support their emotional and mental health. Maybe there are support group near them with other teens experiencing similar things. It can be relief for your teen to know they’re not alone or the only teen that feels the way they do.
Help teens identify their strengths and affirm them.
You may observe your teen and notice some amazing qualities, TELL THEM. With so many changes in this stage, it may feel easier for teens to acknowledge everything they’re not or compare themselves to peers. Especially with technology creating a belief that others are watching and evaluating them at all times, reminding them that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved can influential to their confidence.
Be supportive of independence and individuality.
These are the years where identity development begins. They are yearning for more independence and space to explore interest. With your support, they can feel more comfortable learning themselves and less pressure too live up to specific expectation. Continually remind them to trust themselves.
College Mental Health.
Is your teen is a junior or senior in high school? As you begin discussions about college preparation, don’t forget that BOTH academics and emotional well-being are important to a student success. When touring different campus and applying for college, remember to also ask about counseling center on campus, refer to your Primary Care Physician for a Therapist , or google Therapist directories.
I want to remind you to give yourself grace. You have taught them so much, it’s time to rely on the support and teachings you’ve provided through childhood. Let go with confidence. As a parent and caregivers, you have your own feelings that are coming up and it’s okay. YOU GOT THIS!