Happiness and wellbeing are both vital parts of life. If you’re a parent, you’re probably interested in your teenager’s happiness – after all, it’s good to see them enjoying life. But it’s also good for teenagers to be achieving their full potential and striving for balance between different aspects of their lives.
There are some differences between happiness and wellbeing in teenagers, but there are also some similarities. The main difference is well-being includes physical, mental and emotional health as well as relationships with others.
Feeling healthy can be affected by things like family life, schoolwork and relationships, so teenagers need to think about how they can improve these areas of their lives.
It’s easy for teenagers to get stressed, anxious or sad because they’re trying to deal with lots of changes at once. But they need to remember these feelings will pass, and they don’t have to stay stuck with them.
Find out how you can influence your teen to be happy and satisfied with his life.
Teenagers are supposed to be happier than other people. They’re not supposed to worry about money, work, or childcare. But that’s not always the case. The good news is there are a few things parents and others can do to help teenagers be happy and enjoy a happy relationship with their parents.
There are two main parts to happiness – having positive relationships with friends and family and feeling you have meaning in your life, for example by doing activities you enjoy.
It’s natural for teenagers’ happiness to change over time and between different situations – for example, from being happy at school to being happy at home with your family to being happy at a party or out with friends. Teenagers may also be happy one day but not the next day.
The same person can be happy in one moment but not another because of how they think or how they feel when they’re thinking about something. Thinking too much can make people unhappy sometimes because they worry about things in the past or future, which can’t be changed anyway.
There is no single recipe for raising happy teenagers. But there are some healthy habits that parents can build into their family life to help teenagers grow up content and well-adjusted.
– Encourage good sleep habits: between 8 and 10 hours each night; they go to bed at a regular time each night, even on weekends, holidays or school vacations; they don’t use electronic devices (like TVs, computers or mobile phones) for at least an hour before bedtime; they don’t do anything that might keep them awake (like eating a big meal right before bedtime); and they have comfortable, dark bedrooms that are not too hot or too cold.
– Help your child aim for at least 1 hour of physical activity each day. Encourage them to be physically active so they can be healthy and strong. Help your child build their confidence by taking on challenges together – maybe even try something new together like yoga or tai chi. Encouraging your child to be physically active is another way to promote happiness. Many teens spend far too much time watching TV, playing video games or sitting at computer screens and not nearly enough time being physically active.
– Nurture your relationship with your child. Spend time with them doing things you both enjoy, like going for a walk, cooking dinner together or watching a movie.
– Encourage healthy eating habits: provide positive role models of healthy living by trying new foods and by having family meals together regularly. Make it clear that you value good eating habits, but don’t make food an issue of control or punishment – after all, teens want independence, not control! If you provide healthy options in the home, teens are more likely to choose them, and when they do, choose unhealthy options they will understand the consequences.
The importance of gratitude
There’s no question that raising children is hard work. But it can also be incredibly rewarding. One of the best ways to raise happy, well-adjusted kids is to focus on what they have rather than what they don’t have.
That might seem like a simple suggestion, but it’s hard to do, especially when you compare your own life to those of other families. You may have a bigger house or a newer car — but are you any happier?
And even if other families do have more money and more toys, that doesn’t mean your kids will automatically be happier for having them. If you focus on what your children don’t have, it can make them feel less secure and less valued. That kind of thinking can also make them feel entitled to things they haven’t earned and can lead to disappointment and frustration when those things aren’t given to them.
It’s crucial to help your child understand that happiness isn’t something you buy at the store with your credit card — it’s something that comes from within.
If you have an unhappy teenager or struggling with their mental health, you may worry that you’re doing something wrong.
Things to remember:
Parents can make all the difference. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. You can help your teenager develop positive mental health by listening to them, talking with them, and showing them ways to cope with stress, anxiety and difficult emotions.
Your teenager may be more open to speaking with someone outside the family. It’s okay to ask if they would like to speak with a counsellor or other professional who can offer support in a way that feels comfortable for them.
If your teenager has been diagnosed with an illness like depression or anxiety or has symptoms of mental illness such as thoughts of suicide, you can ask for a referral to an adolescent psychiatrist.
These things are really important at any age. Sometimes teenagers don’t even want to talk about their feelings, so it becomes even more complicated for parents to find out what is happening with their child and what he is going through. If you suspect that your child is using psychoactive substances, you must not ignore it. You can get a drug test kit and do the testing at home. Teenagers can easily shut themselves in and can avoid talking to their parents, especially when they are in a phase of depression, so it is very crucial to monitor the mood and condition of your child.
How can you help your teenager to feel more meaning in their life?
The latest research suggests that our sense of meaning in life is as vital to our happiness as how much money we have. In fact, feeling connected to something bigger than ourselves can help us to thrive even when times are tough. It can lead to greater resilience and less stress.
-Learn about their values. Think about what’s important to your teenager – family, friends, schoolwork, sports? Ask them how they see the world. Then think up some ways they could use their values in daily life – for example, doing something kind for someone else, or getting involved in community activity. Giving feels good because it lights up the reward center in the brain – so helping others has a huge impact on your child’s sense of well-being.
-Tackle conflict. When your child has fallen out with a friend or partner, try not to take sides or tell them what to do – this only makes things worse. Instead, ask them how they might handle it themselves and give them space and freedom to come to a solution on their own.
Goals and achievement
If your childcares about helping others, look for volunteer opportunities that don’t require too much time or effort. If your child wants to excel at something, make sure the goals are achievable.
Even if they’re serious about something, teens still need fun in their lives. Try not to take away all the fun opportunities and be sure to let them have a say in how they spend their free time.
You might be able to raise an intelligent teen by making them read books every night and pushing them toward college prep classes. But if their strengths are more artistic or athletic, you may want to find other ways for them to use those talents. For example, get involved with theatre or soccer clubs, which will put your teen in touch with others who share their interests.
The most important thing is that the teenager finds what interests him and learns how to achieve his goals because it will be necessary for him for the future.
We believe these tips were useful to you and that they will help you to always have a fulfilled, satisfied and happy child by your side who grows into a responsible and stable person.
Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile, and her favorite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.