As your child enters their teen years, you may be concerned that your happy, sunny tween may turn into a stereotypical sulky teenager. The high school years come with plenty of opportunities for fun and new experiences, and making sure your teen stays happy and healthy through it all is an admirable goal. If you’d like to help your child maintain a positive and sunny attitude, there are steps you can take to help them.
What Can I Do To Help My Teen Stay Happy?
Want ideas for how you can support your teen’s happiness? Cheerful teens are connected to their family, feel listened to and understood, and make good choices for themselves. Here are some ideas on how you can help promote their happiness and help them stay grounded throughout their teenage years.
Listen to Them
Actively listening to your teen is the first step toward helping them grow into a happy and confident young adult. Teens who feel understood by the adults around them are more in control of their decisions, and they make better choices. Open communication that includes eye contact and supportive responses is a wonderful way to let your teen know that you are there to support them.
Spend Time Together
Make time for you and your teen to spend time together alone on a regular basis. Whether you schedule a “date night” out or an evening to stay in to watch a favorite show together, spending time one on one shows them that they are an important part of your life. Happy teens love knowing that their parents prioritize them and value spending time together.
Support a Healthy Diet and Exercise Routine
Encouraging your teen to eat healthfully and participate in regular exercise gives them the physical tools they need to be strong and happy. Some teens may need encouragement to try new ways to include physical self-care in their daily life. Offering multivitamins for teens or encouraging them to join a team sport can be ways to support their transition to being responsible for their own well-being.
Emphasize Family Routines
Teenagers can be very busy with friends and activities., but remember that teenagers also love to spend time with their families. Emphasizing family rituals and routines during these years grounds your child and helps them stay positive. Family dinners, game nights, and holiday rituals all let your teen know that they are a part of something bigger than just their own life, and keep them grounded and connected to their family.
What Can My Teen Do To Boost Happiness?
Your teen can also take steps themselves to maintain a positive and sunny attitude. True happiness begins on the inside, and choosing habits and activities that increase happiness can poise your teenager to be happy not only now but for a lifetime. Here are some goals that your teenager may find useful as they navigate their teenage years.
Have them find an activity they enjoy, like art or sports, and work toward mastery. Joining these activities will also help them find friends that share your interests. Feeling capable and connected to peers build self-esteem, which can boost happiness.
Become a Self-Advocate
Encourage them to practice speaking up for themself, and articulating what they want (or don’t want). Learning how to self-advocate effectively provides teens with a sense of agency, and that empowerment goes a long way towards feeling happy.
Learn to Apologize
Everyone makes mistakes. Learning how to take responsibility for an error, and to give a heartfelt apology when it is warranted, is a skill that can provide peace of mind throughout their life.
Learn How to Disagree With Someone Gracefully
There will be times when friends do not see eye to eye. Learning to disagree with someone without destroying a friendship is a mark of maturity, and knowing that they needn’t always agree with someone to stay their friend can bring a lot of happiness to teenagers.
Following these steps can help your child navigate their teenage years while staying their cheerful and sunny self.