Five Ways to Show Your Teen You Love Them
Teenagers can be very insecure in their formative years, often wondering who will be there when life gets to be too stressful. For many, a good set of friends may fill some of the roles, but what a troubled teen really needs is a good, loving parent.
Parents often say the words of love so often that they become a part of everyday vernacular, and may fall on deaf ears when spoken to a teenager. It’s important to take the time to show love with actions if you want your teenager to know that you are ready to be the constant they need in their lives. See below for some great tips on how to show love to your teen today.
Embrace the technology. Sending a quick, light-hearted text message can be just the pick me up a troubled teen may need in the middle of a particularly bad day or mood. Too often the messages sent from parents to teens include reminders to do homework or schedule an appointment and can seem like they are constantly being nagged. Sending something like a joke or a funny picture will remind them that you consider them part of your team.
Be flexible with choices that won’t matter as much. Picking where to eat or what movie to see is a small gesture that you can do to show your teen that you trust their decisions, even the smallest one. Rewarding them for making good choices in matters such as spending money they have earned or saved can show that you are proud of their responsibilities. More substantial life decisions deserve their input considered as well, even if ultimately the choice will be made by adults.
Take an interest in their lives. Getting to know who your teen is spending time with by actively inviting them into your home is a great way to show that you care about how they are spending their time. Meet with teachers, coaches and other parents that your teen may regularly be visiting to find out how they are doing in school work, social lives and in general outside of your home.
Establish trust as well. ake clear boundaries and rules, and expect them to be followed, but allow for some minor mistakes or slip-ups. Talk to them about why it upset you if they missed curfew or went to a different location than planned without telling you. Establishing trust with your teen will go a long way in the future as they learn to stay within their limits on their own.
If you notice trouble, do something about it. Sometimes the best way to show your love is by making the hard decisions to seek help from outside sources. Troubled teen residential programs can be great for letting your teen escape a toxic home or school situation with round-the-clock care, or a teen wilderness program is a short-term solution where they can learn valuable life skills and unplug from the stresses of their everyday lives.