Top 5 Tips for Helping Teens Cope With Change
Raising teens is definitely not an easy task, but with the right support, encouragement, and advice, you can not only survive these years, but even enjoy them! In today’s post, we’ll provide five tips that you can use to help your teen cope with change. Since change is a part of life, it’s important that they learn these important coping skills while they’re still young.
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1. Acknowledge Emotions
There are a number of changes that teens can face, including:
- Friends moving away
- Starting a new school
- Moving to a new city
- Divorce of parents
- Shifting financial situations
- Changes in a friend group
No matter what the reason for the change, there is almost always an upheaval in emotions. Part of the reason for this is that uncertain circumstances actually require more brain power from us, which can make us feel very drained. Simply put — change can be debilitating.
With that in mind, help your teen to acknowledge the emotions they’re feeling. This simple act will help them to process whatever they are feeling in its entirety instead of trying to bottle it up and pretend that it isn’t there. If they don’t feel comfortable sharing all of their feelings with you, then encourage them to journal, talk to their friends, a Sunday school teacher, or a therapist.
Additionally, make sure that you don’t allow them to behave badly simply because they are going through a hard time. It’s important for them to learn that going through difficulties in life doesn’t give them permission to be rude to those around them.
2. Focus on Values
When change occurs, many people, teens included, wish that they could just hide until it all goes away. Unfortunately, this approach won’t work. Instead of giving into these feelings, help your teen to remember their personal values, such as faith, family, courage, and loyalty. It might be beneficial to have them write out their values so that they can see their list in black and white. Once they’ve listed their values, encourage them to look at whatever has changed in light of these values. Help them to see that they still have all of the support that they need to face whatever may come their way. Remembering what they value will help to defeat any negative emotions that threaten to overwhelm them during this time.
One of the best things that teens can do to deal with change is to look back on all of the changes that have already occurred in their lives. It’s easy for anyone to forget how many times we have faced major changes in our lives, dealt with them, and moved on. Looking back, however, helps to remind us that we have come through many challenging events and are a better person for overcoming adversity. Challenges are what help to make us stronger, more resilient, and better equipped for the next challenge. They also give us the knowledge that whatever we’re facing is something that we can work through, no matter how difficult. Help your teen look back at specific events that were particularly difficult for them at the time so that they can approach the current change with a better perspective.
4. Choose the Right Perspective
Some people seem to be natural pessimists. If your teen falls into this category, then it’s important to show them that it is possible to change their perspective. While this is easier said than done, it is simply a matter of choosing how to look at something. When your teen is faced with a change, encourage them to move beyond the feelings of fear, loss, or anger and choose to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.
It can be draining to get lost in negative feelings, which can prevent your teen from being willing to move forward. Help them to change their perspective to a more positive outlook so that they can learn the skills they need to move forward and view this change as an opportunity for growth rather than a devastating loss. Remind them that the key in all of this is the perspective they choose. The negative can always be found, but so can the positive.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
Teens seem to be harder on themselves than almost any other age group. When faced with difficult changes, it can be tempting for them to give in to self-doubt, guilt, and any other number of negative emotions. When life doesn’t go the way they had hoped or planned, help your teen to see the importance of being kind to themself. Let them know that you’re not telling them to ignore the pain or pretend that they’re not upset. There is an important difference between acknowledging emotions and choosing self-compassion. Self-compassion simply means finding ways to care for your own needs in a difficult time.
Coping with change can be difficult for anyone, including teens. We hope that the tips we’ve shared with you today give you the tools you need to teach your teen how to better cope with change. At Fruit Farm of the Spirit, we offer a number of augmented reality products to provide fun Christian games for teens. Browse our site today to see all that we have to offer.