You’ve done the hard work of managing your teenager through a severe mental health crisis. Now your teenager is getting better. You know this is true because now they’re:
Hanging out with friends
Making plans for next year
‘Borrowing’ the car for long periods
Going to parties
Getting into relationships … and getting out of relationships
Yay! They’re being more teenagery.
Now, you may be encountering a new set of problems.
How do I best support my teenager (or young adult) to have a ‘normal’ life?
How can I help them balance their newfound freedom with the side effects this lifestyle can have on their bodies and (of more immediate concern) minds?
For our teenagers/young adults, this can be a time of trial and error to figure out what they need to support them to perform their best.
Being the parent going forward; it’s quite okay to remind them about EASES
Avoid alcohol & drugs
And the effects these have on their bodies.
They might not make the link straight away between their late nights and their difficulty concentrating at 3pm, but you will.
When they tell you they’re tired, ask them about their sleep. Not to be critical, only in a way that supports them to figure out some helpful changes they could make going forward.
By now, we’ve been through the baptism of fire that was the teenage crisis. And, believe it or not, we’re in a stronger position to help our teens than we ever were before anxiety and depression came for a visit.
All those counselling appointments. All that time spent on emotions. All those chats. All those long talks. They all count.
Right now, you will have two things that will serve you well.
You know your teenager really well. You know what their triggers are. You know their strengths.
You know how to best manage your relationship.
You are in the perfect place to be a great tower of support and strength for them going forward. And you get to do it from a distance this time. Listening twice as much and saying half as much.
Life and relationship issues are always going to be a given. They’re a way to learn. Be the parent who is prepared to listen. And be judgement-free. Help them figure out how to sort things out themselves.
It’s a gift to be on the same side as your young adults, as all those reflective listening skills and judgement free parenting moments keep paying forward.
And now, you know, they’ve got this. And if they don’t, you’ve got them. They know how to tell you that, and you know how to read them. You get to enjoy that relationship, safe in the knowledge that they’re learning about themselves and you’re there to support them when they need it.
Take a deep breath. You’ve earned it.
Bit-By-Bit is my signature group coaching course that gives you the skills to learn and practice these crucial parenting tools. Ones that will take you and your teenagers through into young adulthood and beyond. And leave you being the parent who hears “Thanks Mum, I’ve got this now. Love you.”
And you have the opportunity to ‘add on’ your teenager, meaning you’ll both be learning (separately of course!) similar material. Putting yourself on the same page as your teenager? Priceless! Be the parent whose teenager says “Thanks. You were really there when I needed you.”