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Teenage years resemble a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. They go through a whole bunch of stuff on the inside to hopefully one day burst out of that inner cave and flourish as an adult.
But with growth comes significant challenges and calls to embrace change in all aspects of their life. It can be challenging for your teen but especially hard on you as a parent.
Homeschooling parents are not only forced to navigate the difficulties that come with homeschooling, but they’re also tasked with helping their teens get through the deep, detailed, and sometimes dark emotions they face.
If you’re homeschooling teenagers who are experiencing those difficult teen emotions, here’s how to help them navigate those feelings:
Prepare for Turbulence
Teenagers go through a whole lot of changes. For instance, their hormones are surfacing and evolving. They’re taking on more responsibility. They’re growing external relationships and trying to figure out how they feel about themselves too.
Trying to navigate all of these changes at once can be overwhelming for a teen, which often causes them to rebel. They start refusing to get up for class, stop taking directions, and spend more time outside the home.
That said, you know that rebellion is normal in the teenage years. So, stay calm instead of expressing frustration and anger when you experience turbulence with your teen. Communicate honestly and ensure any punishments you dish out are fair and understood by your teen.
Allow Them the Space to Feel
It’s a bad idea to try and control how your teen expresses their emotions. It’ll result in them feeling misunderstood and unheard. In addition, not allowing them the space to feel may cause them to lash out and isolate themselves.
We aren’t saying you should allow your teen to abuse and disrespect you, but we are saying that you should create an environment where there’s space for your teen to feel without limitations and judgment.
The key is never matching their negative behaviors and responses. For instance, when they’re yelling, you should become quieter. When they’re saying hurtful things, shower them with love in response.
Also, listen to your teen. Sit back and take in what they’re saying instead of dismissing it because they’re the child and you’re the adult. You can learn a lot about and from your teen if you allow yourself to.
Practice open communication with your teen as well.
One of the best things you can do for your teen is set the stage for open communication. The intense emotional journey they’re on is much easier when they have you to talk to.
Practice healthy communication with your teen. Every conversation you have with them should be a two-way conversation. Listen more than you talk. Leave judgment and criticism at the door. Inquire before you accuse.
Also, make a plan for how you will go about things differently in the future to ensure your teen feels supported in whatever circumstance they’re coming to you about.
Helping your teen grow their confidence can also make the difficult teen emotions easier to manage during homeschooling.
Help Your Teen Grow Their Confidence
Because the teenage years harbor a lot of uncertainty, it’s essential to help your teen grow their confidence during this time. Doing so will ensure they treat themself with dignity and grace during difficult times.
So, always uplift, engage and encourage them during lessons. Teach them positive self talk too. Help them set and achieve goals. Celebrate how far they’ve come often. Support them by honoring who they truly are.
In addition to helping your teen grow their confidence, show them how to take care of themselves.
Show Them How to Take Care of Themselves
It’s important to instill in your teen that they must take care of themselves whether they’re feeling good, bad, or indifferent. Caring for their holistic health is necessary all the time. It’ll also help them work through the most challenging emotions.
For example, let’s say your teen’s stress levels are at an all-time high because they’re having trouble with the curriculum. Teaching them healthy coping mechanisms like deep breathing or taking a break from work will help them manage the adverse effects of stress.
Show your teen how to take care of themselves. Start by helping them embrace self-care through mindfulness activities. Mindfulness activities like meditation can lower stress, improve their ability to enjoy the present, and teach them to empathize with what others are going through.
Also, implement daily exercise and good nutrition. Let your teen lead their healthcare with regular visits to their primary care physician, dentist, and vision specialist. Encourage them to work with a mental health specialist for depression, anxiety, or any other mental health challenges they may face.
You could even make emotional intelligence a part of your curriculum. Create lessons around emotional maturity and how to grow it and implement it in real life.
Helping your teen navigate difficult emotions during homeschooling isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Your teen may not thank you right now, but they will when they’re flourishing as adults. So, do all you can to receive this thanks, starting with the tips above.