How to Raise Happy and Healthy Teens

Yes, it’s possible for your teens to grow up and be conscious, confident, and community-minded adults. In fact, not all teens are monsters, the way the media makes them out to be. Yes, they are going through a challenging time in life. But that does not mean that all teens are argumentative, rebellious, and impulsive. They can also be creative, optimistic, and resourceful. They can be idealistic, kind-hearted, and generous.

Here are some tips for parents on how to promote and encourage the positive traits in teens:

Encourage your teen to develop positive social relationships. A teen needs close and supportive family and friends. In fact, some experts say that a healthy parent-teen relationship helps a teen develop healthy friendships. Furthermore, one study revealed having healthy social coping mechanisms was a primary factor in feeling satisfied about one’s life.

Teach your teen to do good for others. Part of developing healthy relationships is sharing, giving, and being kind. One way you can teach your teen about sharing is to designate a percentage of their allowance for charity. Giving and sharing with others helps a person feel good about themselves and your teen may continue to make this a practice in life.

Model how important it is for teens to take good care of themselves physically. Physical health makes a big difference in a person’s psychological health. If a teen is eating well, getting enough sleep (a teen needs at least 9 hours), and exercising, they are likely going to feel good physically and psychologically.

Focus on what’s positive. Teens can sometimes be overdramatic. If they lost their friend’s necklace, they might believe that that friend is never going to speak to them again. But you can remind them to stay positive, focus on what’s going well in the friendship. And perhaps the loss of the necklace is an opportunity for your teen to deepen her relationship with her friend.

Talk about the benefits of self-acceptance and self-confidence. One of the biggest challenges for teens is peer pressure and changing who they are in order to feel accepted by their peers. However, if a teen feels good about themselves and accepts who they are, things change. A strong character that keeps them from giving in to peer pressure. A teen might know that he or she is unique. He or she knows that there’s no one else like them and for that reason there’s a sense of self-confidence and self-appreciation.

Help your teen build resilience. Resilience is a psychological quality that can assist teens in saying no to drugs, curbing peer pressure, knowing when to make the right choices, and avoiding risky behavior. For instance, resilient teens are those who have learned to manage stress effectively. They tend to be those who have healthy relationships with adults, easy going dispositions, and inner resources that position them to move easily into adulthood.

Encourage your teen to use the strengths and skills they have. One way to build resilience and to strengthen self-confidence is to promote what your teen is good at. If your teen has a skill or talent, encourage them to use it! Whether it’s creativity, engineering cars, solving problems, or finding patterns, your teen’s focus on their strengths will help them develop a strong sense of self.

These are suggestions for parents to help their teens create a life that is meaningful, rewarding, and fun.


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