Nothing can prepare you for the “challenging” teenage years that can turn even the sweetest child into a hormonal and demanding juvenile.

However, before you decide to write off the next seven years of peace and prepare yourself for battle, you should know that there are ways in which you can help your teen to make better decisions. Decisions that will not only help them cope with the highs and lows of teenage life, but will also make your job as parent so much less stressful.

From providing guidance without interference, to seeking professional help when needed, keep reading to discover how you can motivate your teenager to make responsible choices for themselves, leaving you to enjoy these difficult years in relative peace.

Offer Counseling

Although your teen may be pushing you away more than ever before, this doesn’t mean that they actually don’t want and need your support and advice. In fact, the opposite is true. Most likely they desperately need your guidance but are too afraid or proud to ask for it.

This step is all about balance. You need to be there for your teen but at the same time, be willing to take a step back and let them make their own mistakes.

Seek Help

There is no shame in admitting that you need support with helping your teenager to navigate these tricky years. This is especially true if you think your teen may be struggling with their mental health or that they are abusing alcohol or drugs.

If your teen is suffering with depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, now is the time for you to get them help, as otherwise they could suffer with these issues throughout their whole adult life. Look specifically for residential treatment centers for teens that are experienced in treating depression in this age group.

Discuss Obstacles

If your teen is feeling at a loss about a certain issue or circumstance, it is advisable to sit down with them at talk through what is stopping them from achieving their goals. Obstacles can feel overwhelming for teens, but simply by discussing these problems together you can help them to overcome them.

Now is also the perfect opportunity to have a discussion about the different options available to your teenager. They may think that their choices are more limited than they actually are.

Overcome Negative Emotions

There are many explanations as to why your teen may make bad choices. It may be out of fear of failure, or perhaps they become overly excited without actually evaluating the risks involved. Either way, now is the time for you to help your teenager both overcome any negative feelings and balance out their emotions as a whole.

You might want to try writing a pros and cons list every time your teen needs to make a major decision so that they can make a clear and rational choice.

Let Them Know That Mistakes Happen

If you are going to make mistakes in your life, then your teenage years are the best time to make them. In fact, you might even go as far as to say that there are no bad mistakes at this point of your life, only choices that you can learn from.

Even if your teenage acts tough, this is a very vulnerable time in their life and they need your support rather than your criticism, so try to bear this in mind next time they push you to your limit!

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