Your teen should be trying to learn good coping skills. In addition to study skills, social skills and relationship skills to name a few, they have to learn how to cope when life gets to be a real big pain in the arse.
Ommm. This is great way to get your teen to slow down, focus and center themselves. They’re being asked to do so much and the ability to be calm in chaos is an absolutely priceless gift to give themselves. Some people call it prayer, a moment of silence, or they do it through the breathing of yoga or Pilates. However your teen slows their brain down and becomes present and calm in the moment is a coping skill that pays off in spades.
Almost any opportunity to write what your teen is thinking is a golden opportunity to gain insight. Insight is what allows them to grow from an experience and become more mature. Re-reading what they wrote about something that was so serious at the time and now with a more mature brain seems silly is like a small ray of hope that things will get better in teen years and the adult years will be challenging, but so much better. Writing also allows the brain to slow down from all the external stimuli and rest so that it makes faster and more efficient connections the next day.
Counseling is a great resource for your teen especially when they have a very good relationship with their therapist. You don’t always have to have this relationship to get something out of counseling, but it helps. I think counseling is great because it allows your teen to talk to a third hopefully objective party so they can recognize patterns that hold your teen back or allow them to succeed. They can comment without being concerned about losing a friendship and when they’re there the time is all theirs. Teens can sometimes have a hard time with “telling some stranger their secrets,” but if they can get past the disadvantage and look at the advantage they’ll understand why it’s important it’s a “stranger” and not a close friend or family member.
It’s always good to have a few close people that you tell different things to in your life. Some your teen might find are easier to speak about school or money issues or their struggles with relationships like their parents or significant others. A confidant is great, but rely on them too much and you start to get frustrated they don’t always have the time or they aren’t able to say what you want to hear or they’re so concerned with your friendship they don’t say what they should. Confidants are good for some levels of stress, but not all and certainly should not be your teen’s significant other.
Exercise is such a great habit to start. It helps maintain weight, offers a moment to be in the moment and can release natural endorphins that allow your teen to have a sense of well-being. Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, a run or weights, the time allows them to blow off steam and stress while getting their health on. Do this with music and it’s a slice of heaven.
For more ideas you can check out stressfreekids.