How to Help Your Teen Deal With Change
Change is an inevitable part of life, and many adults have had enough change happen through their youth that they have learned to adapt fairly easily. However, teens may have a more difficult time adjusting to major changes, or even smaller ones that affect them directly.
If your teen is starting to show troubling signs of not adapting to a change, it may be time to step in and help them to adjust before they spiral out of control. Changing schools, moving long distances and family member changes can all be triggers for teens to go down the wrong path. See below for ways to help them deal with these upsets in their daily routine.
Keep routine where you can. If there has been a significant shakeup such as a new school or new city, keeping as much routine at home as possible is key to keeping your teen grounded. Keeping traditions, dinners and even rules the same will give a much-needed sense of consistency in the new world your teen is navigating. Some things are going to be more difficult than others, but keeping routine even in small ways will help your teen to adjust.
Encourage them to talk with someone. Whether it’s a friend, a school counselor or a licensed therapist from troubled teen services, your teen will need an impartial outlet with which to share their feelings. Online teen programs can be helpful if you are new to an area and need resources, or even using a teen residential program can help your child by surrounding them with peers in a similar situation.
Squash the fear of the unknown. Researching can be incredibly calming, especially if the change involves new schools or new cities. Encourage your teen to take away their fear of the unknown by having them look into what will change, and how it will directly affect them. Preparation can often have a positive effect in helping them to know what they can and can not control in their new environment.
Keep it positive. Change can be an opportunity. Maybe this new life will bring very positive results such as better schools or less financial woes. While it’s easy for a teen to focus on the negative, encouraging them to recognize the benefits of the change will help them to realize that the bigger picture is what is going to matter in the long run. If you can suggest ways that these things will directly benefit them, it may be the boost they need to assist you in the process.
Keep them healthy physically. Healthy eating, regular exercise and getting enough sleep are crucial ways to keep the body in shape for dealing with the stress of change. If your teen is having trouble keeping healthy physically, having them get out of their element for a while and participate in social events, such as a teen wilderness program, which can get them back into good habits.