This article was last modified on March 12th, 2020.
A person’s teenage years are incredibly important in their growth and formation of identity. During this time, it can seem like your teen is from a completely different species but it’s important to remember that their needs have simply changed as they mature. In order to help them continue to succeed in school and in life, you will need to make sure that you adjust alongside them to create a nurturing environment. Here are a few of our tips for how to work with your teen and inspire them to be their best every day:
Speak their language It may seem like your teenager speaks a completely foreign language and you’re not far off. New slang is constantly popping up even faster than ever thanks to the internet. Rather than getting frustrated when your teen says something you might not understand, think of their slang as a way for them to feel connected to their generation.
Listen and communicate
Teenagers are commonly stereotyped as closed off, especially from their parents, but this isn’t necessarily true. Many teens try to communicate with their parents but feel awkward about starting tough conversations or bringing up problems because they don’t want to be thought of as a child anymore.
When your student comes to you, be sure to limit distractions and fully listen to them without judgment. Let them lead the conversation and speak to them as you would speak to another adult.
Brainstorm solutions together
The brains of young adults are particularly wired to come up with unique solutions to problems. Encourage your teen to come up with a variety of outcomes that would solve their problem and let them know that there is more than one way to solve a problem.
Encourage healthy creative outlets
A person’s teenage years are full of many changes and it is perfectly normal that they will encounter challenging situations as they grow into adulthood. Encourage your student to use their experiences to fuel their healthy creative outlets like art, music and exercise. This can help their school work, develop talents that can build future career prospects and also encourage healthy coping habits that will last a lifetime.
Here’s the fun part – celebrate when your student steps outside of the box and accomplishes a goal! Even a simple bit of praise can go a long way in the eyes of a teen.