Parents, this post is for you and we understand that most of us need help in guiding our teens. By now you know that being healthy is more than just being free from disease. If we are to look health from a holistic perspective, you also need to check one’s social, mental, and emotional well being.
Now, ask yourself, is your teen healthy?
How can you help them?
What are the things you have to be cautious about?
Below, we will provide you with some of the most effective tips so you can raise a healthy teen.
Helping your kids with their physical health
Engage them in physical activities
Most kids today are all over their gadgets and only few are physically active. Help them stop that sedentary lifestyle! You can plan a hike over the weekend. Or perhaps join running events.
Prepare healthy meals
Even with a busy work schedule, ensure that you prepare their food. Otherwise, they would end up eating fast food, which we all know might take a toll on their health in the long run.
Have a strict ‘sleeping time’
Teenagers should have an average sleeping time of nine hours. To date, most teenagers only sleep for seven hours. It would help if you set a strict sleeping time and explain to them the benefits of doing so. Tell them that this will make anyone more focused on whatever activity they have the next day.
Helping your kids with their emotional/mental health
Open the lines of communication
It is recommended that you give time to your kids and talk about anything under the sun. A family dinner can be that ‘time’. You can simply ask how their day was. Or maybe, talk about if they are admiring someone from school. It is also important NOT to judge them. Otherwise, they might not open up to you anymore.
Know the signs and symptoms of mental illness
You have to observe if there are drastic changes in your teen’s behavior. Check if they are always sad, or trying to isolate themselves. See if they are still doing the things they love, or if their self-esteem drops tremendously. Again, give time for this. Your job and reports can wait!
If you think your teen is suffering from a mental illness, immediately seek professional help.
Other tips that can hone a healthy teen
Allow them to take on more responsibilities
Give them tasks wherein they will feel a sense of accomplishment. For example, ask them to plan out your weekend activity. Or maybe, let them draft their ideal birthday party. If they are old enough, let them re-decorate their room according to their preference.
Allow them to go out with friends
This is healthy for their social well being. However, since there are a lot of teens who are exposed to substances or underground parties, it is necessary that you check your teen’s circle of friends.
Let them join out of school activities
The grades in school isn’t everything. There is life outside of the campus and you let them explore and learn. If they want to attend a painting class, or a theatre workshop, or join youth organizations, let them. But again, always be on the lookout if they are really in their classes, or doing something else.
Lastly, don’t break their trust. If they shared something which is obviously sensitive, keep it to yourself. Do not share it with your friends. But of course, if what was shared is beyond your control and needs an intervention of an expert such as a psychologist, then do not hesitate to seek for advice.