A Healthy Teenage Summer: Tip 4

Developed by HRI Program Coordinator, Camila Dos Santos, M.Ed.

One of the bigger myths about teenagers is that they don’t want to spend time with their parents.  Oftentimes, miscommunications and/or lack of time gets in the way of bonding with your teen, especially in one-on-one settings. But as plans change and vacations get postponed, this summer provides a unique opportunity for parents to bond with their teens.  

Whether there are activities that you’ve always done together, such as shopping or exercising, or whether you’d like to try something new, such as building something together, these moments provide meaningful opportunities to get to know your teen better, to connect over conversation, and importantly, to have fun together. 

Consider allowing your teenager to pick the activity or surprise them by doing something they’ve always wanted to do.  The more excited and invested they are in the activity, the more likely it is that the experience will be positive for the both of you. 

When parents and teenagers spend time together, it fosters a relationship with open and healthy communication.  When you add fun to the mix, it allows for creating meaningful memories together that set the foundation for a strong parent/teen relationship down the road.

A Healthy Teenage Summer: Tip 3

Developed by HRI Program Coordinator, Camila Dos Santos, M.Ed.

The pandemic has taught many of us that there are countless ways to stay connected without physically being together.  Helping your teenager stay connected to their circle this summer can provide a number of benefits, such as increased connection and happiness. 

Parents of teenagers know how important other social connections outside of the family are to their teens. When parents take the time to nurture and foster their teen’s relationships with others, it can help teens feel connected and less isolated. 

One way to keep your teen connected is to organize and host virtual meetings with their teammates if they play a sport, or with classmates and friends from school that they don’t see much over the summer. Having virtual meetings gives teens an opportunity to check in with one another, talk about how they’re coping and staying productive, and feel connected during a time when we aren’t seeing other people as often.  

Parents can play an important role in helping their teenagers foster healthy relationships outside of the home.  Spend some time focusing on keeping your teenager connected this summer and you may find that it improves your relationship overall!

A Healthy Teenage Summer: Tip 2

Developed by HRI Program Coordinator, Camila Dos Santos, M.Ed.

We’ve all heard by now how important self-care is if we want to live a life of emotional balance and reduced stress.  For many of us, however, implementing a consistent self-care routine is a challenge – especially when our routines are upended and uncertain. 

Parents can help their teenagers establish healthy relationship practices by working with them to establish a variety of self-care routines to promote their emotional balance and reduced stress.  And since the summer is typically a time of relaxation, this is a great time for teens to explore the self-care strategies that work for them without the pressure of an academic school-year and additional responsibilities that come along with it.  

Self-care requires trial and error, practice, and intentionality in order to work for us.  Some strategies to help your teen stay intentional and consistent about their self-care routine is to try new activities with them, encourage them to try new things, and involve them in your own self-care. 

HRI provides many resources for parents and teens to learn about and discuss self-care together,  including the following:

When we have multiple tools in our self-care toolbox, we are better prepared to deal with stress and emotional situations because we have a number of strategies that have already proven to work for us.  

By helping your teenager establish their own toolkit of self-care practices, they are more likely to be proactive in using these strategies when they need them the most. Working with your teen to establish healthy self-care practices will also increase the communication between you and your teen and give you an opportunity to bond over shared interests.

A Healthy Teenage Summer: Tip 1

Developed by HRI Program Coordinator, Camila Dos Santos, M.Ed.

For many teenagers, the summer is usually spent with loved ones and friends, but this summer may look a little different than most.  Increased time at home and decreased social interactions as a result of the pandemic means that most of us will be spending more time with our immediate family this summer. This gives parents of teenagers a unique opportunity to bond with them and learn about their perspectives. 

Parents can help teenagers have a happy and healthy summer by helping teens focus on strengthening their relationships and friendships during this time.  One way to do this is to talk intentionally with teens about what makes relationships healthy and happy and to also spend time discussing the signs of unhealthy relationships

The following HRI resources may be helpful in beginning these conversations with your teen: 

Asking your teenager questions about relationships will help you get a sense of their experiences and perspectives. Having this understanding of your teen will help you have healthy communication together and ensure you continue to have meaningful conversations in the future. 

When teenagers have the freedom to talk about their ideas, thoughts, and fears surrounding relationships with a trusted adult, they are more likely to examine their own relationships to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and safe – a skill that they will continue to use as they become adults. 

Stay tuned as we continue to share tips this week to help teens have a healthy summer!

Dr. John Gottman & Healthy Conflict

“In a good relationship, people get angry, but in a very different way. They see a problem a bit like a soccer ball… They kick it around. It’s “our problem.”  – Dr. John Gottman (Learn about him here.)

It is normal to experience conflict in relationships. People in healthy relationships, however, tend to work together to resolve conflict rather than placing blame or focusing on the negative.

Check out this HRI resource on Keeping Relationships Strong During Life’s Challenging Times for ways to work through relationship problems effectively and in a healthy way.

Practice gratitude this 4th of July!

 

The holidays are a great time to practice gratitude in the company of family & loved ones.  A couple of ways to practice gratitude as a family this 4th of July include:

  • Stating 1-2 things that you are grateful for in your family while sharing a meal
  • Doing something nice for someone else
  • Watch inspiring or funny videos together
  • Call or video chat a grandparent who may not be able to spend the holiday with you
  • Be in the moment with one another and soak in every smile, laugh, and positive moment

Happy 4th of July!

 

 

Listen to Your Body & Mind

Sometimes, our bodies and minds tell us what we need. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you and prioritize time to take care of yourself. Maybe you’ve been feeling exhausted or sad and just need time to take a nap or process your feelings. Maybe you’ve been feeling anxious and restless and find relief in exercise. Whatever it is that you feel like you need, we encourage you to prioritize yourself and practice a little self-care. You deserve it.

Discover You Joy!

Focus on doing things that bring you joy when practicing self-care! Whether it’s reading a book, going on a run, practicing yoga, gardening, or talking with friends, when you do what you love, you’re more likely to make time for it. 

 

Gratitude as Self-Care

A simple and quick way to practice self-care is to take 5-10 minutes out of the day to reflect on what you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude helps us notice the positive things in our lives and leads to feelings of joy and peace. Gratitude also helps us stay in the present moment and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety!

Build Self-Care into Your Schedule

One of the best ways to make sure that you have time for self-care is to plan it! When you build self-care into your schedule, you are more likely to follow through with it. While having a full hour to yourself would be ideal, we realize that this isn’t always an option. Even setting aside 10-15 minutes a day to engage in self-care can make a big difference! Figure out what works best for you and try and keep it consistent. Know that this won’t be a perfect process, so give yourself grace on the days where self-care may need to look a bit different or doesn’t happen at all.