Domestic Diversions

Parenting teens: embracing, understanding, changing

The Guardian gathers a few experts to show parents how to help our teenagers. Included in the tips list are these two:

4 Keep lines of communication open
“There’s no doubt that the way you communicate will change,” [Ammanda] Major says. . . . Always keep the channels of communication open. Take the time to learn their language and when they might want to talk.

For example, a face-to-face sit-down conversation across the table will be too confrontational. You should try to cultivate moments where “sideways” conversations happen, such as in the car or while walking or doing household chores together; this way, things can be much more relaxed and they will often open up or be more receptive.
6 Take mental health seriously
Many common mental health problems, such as depression, have their onset in early adolescence.

Natasha Devon, a children’s mental health campaigner and the author of A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z, often gets asked when “normal” teenage behaviour becomes a mental health issue. “It doesn’t matter. . . . If someone genuinely shows interest in you and listens to you, then that improves your brain chemistry. Just listen to what they have to say.”

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