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Prioritizing the Mental Well-Being of Your Teenagers

The teenage years are when one needs guidance the most and finds it the hardest to ask for help. During this time, parents must take extra care of their children. By prioritizing the mental well-being of your teenager, you can help them prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. It is important to remember that every child will have different emotional needs. So, address your child's problems when trying to figure out a way to help them.  

Steps to Improve the Mental Health of Teenagers: 

According to data shared by the CDC, 2.7 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 were struggling with depression in 2019. Many teenagers are also dealing with more than one mental disorder at the same time. It has become apparent that unless parents step up, the mental health of children will keep getting worse.  

Here are some steps you can take to help your teenager stay mentally healthy:  

1. Foster A Safe Space: 

The biggest reason teenagers become withdrawn is that they feel they will be judged if they share their feelings. This fear can come from a negative experience. A tense home environment can also cause your teen to become withdrawn. If you create an environment where kids feel like their voices matter, they will find it easier to open up to you.  
Teenage is the most complex phase of a person's life. During this time, kids must deal with hormonal and body changes while learning to make lasting relationships. As a parent, it is imperative to let your kids know their feelings are valid. When you give them a safe and non-judgmental space to live in, your teenager will find it easier to deal with their emotions.  
2. Plan Fun Activities: 
Just because your children are teenagers now doesn't mean they won't be interested in fun activities. The shift from preteen to teenage can be challenging for a child. It can also get boring with more workload from school. In such a situation, teenagers are bound to feel lonely. And the longer the feelings of loneliness last, the harder it will be for your teenager to recover later. It would help to plan fun activities with your kid to avoid worsening things. The activities will give your teenager a chance to engage in things that bring them joy. However, it is crucial to engage in activities based on the preferences of your child. If they like outdoor activities more, you can plan a camping trip. And if they prefer staying indoors, a game night with the family could be a lot of fun. Spending time together as a family is also a good way of showing your love for each other.  
3. Seek Professional Help: 
If emotional distress is affecting the day-to-day life of your teenager, then it is time to seek professional help. Ignoring the signs of worsening mental health will not make them go away. It is also crucial to understand that you can't treat mental health disorders simply by being affectionate towards your child.  
A professional specializing in teen mental health can devise a treatment plan that would be most helpful to your kid. Keep in mind that treating teen depression is often a group effort. You will have to get involved as a family in the treatment plan. Family therapy is also an excellent way to work through your issues and strengthen the familial bond.  
4. Encourage And Reward Healthy Habits:  
Teenagers are known for staying up late, not eating properly, and spending too much time on their phones. In 2019, 45% of American teenagers said they are almost always on the internet. A lot of parents brush off these habits as something the kids do at this age. However, if your teenager continues with their unhealthy habits, they will have a hard time in the future. You can encourage and reward healthy habits to improve the mental well-being of your teenager. You can also help your teen plan their daily routines with time for exercise and leisure.  
5. Care For Yourself: 
It is quite common for parents to ignore their physical and mental health while caring for their children. However, teenagers look to their parents as an example. By not dealing with your stress properly, you will not only hurt yourself but also set a wrong precedent for your child.  
You can also include your child in your self-care practices like yoga or meditation. It will help strengthen your bond with them and teach them healthy coping mechanisms. Kids are quick to pick on the stress around them, so you should work on yourself if you don't want your teenager to get worried. A few positive habits you can adopt to improve your well-being are asking for help when needed and working on your relationships.  

Knowing the steps to improve the mental well-being of your teenager can be a game-changer, allowing you to start making positive changes around the house. With supportive parenting, you will help your teenager become a mentally healthy adult.  


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