I am not the mother to teens. Not yet. Give me another five or six years. But I have friends who are and some recent conversations have got me thinking...
There are a lot of mums and dads out there worried about their teenage kids.
There are a lot of parents who are feeling out of their depth dealing with kids aged 13 and upwards.
There are a lot of teens who are:
- Struggling with self esteem
- Not communicating
- Failing at aspects of sleep / routine / school / daily life
That's how their parents view it, anyway.
So in my quest to share helpful, useful resources, today I've got three great, science-backed and psychologist-recommended well being apps for teens, just in case you're one of those parents, with one of those kids.
Recharge - Sleep Well, Be Well. Designed to help teens establish good sleep habits including regular exercise and early daylight exposure. Help to get them out of bed and engaged in the world to benefit their physical and mental health.
Free. Developed by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre here in Australia.
Mindshift is a tool to help teens and young adults manage everyday anxiety as well as test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, worry, panic and conflict. Rather than trying to avoid anxiety. Mindshift helps kids to think about it differently to face it and conquer it.
Free. Mindshift is designed and developed through a joint collaboration between the Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia. Canada and the the BC Children’s Hospital,
Superbetter might get your teen's attention. It's a game! Creator Jane McGonigal developed it after experiencing her own period of challenge and anxiety following a brain injury. It's designed to help build social, mental and emotional resilience and it's supported by a whole lot of science and research that indicates that it really works. The benefits of gaming is a hot topic in psychology and education right now and this one is leading the way.
Free. Find out more at Superbetter.
How do you suggest these to your teenage child?
That's the million dollar question isn't it? Here are some ideas.
Keep it casual. Try mentioning the app in the course of normal conversation or chat. Make the suggestion, make the details available, but don't push it. Give your child time to explore it if and when he or she feels ready.
- Send it electronically. Make it clickable somehow, whether through social media, email or whatever media you and your teen share in some way.
- Repeat yourself, but don't nag. We all need time to process new ideas and information. Some need longer than others. Pushing the point is likely to lead to defensiveness and reduces the chance that your teen will follow through on your suggestion. If you get no traction immediately, mention it again in a few days' time. Ask the question, 'Did you take a look at that app?' and then pause. If there's no response then try again later.
If you want some tips on having a conversation with your teen, there are some great videos and other resources on the Raising Children Network. I've been watching them all morning!
You might also like this book review by Nic Avery at Planning With Kids. It's her take on some great strategies outlined in the book: Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy: Loving Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind.
Are you struggling with a teen right now?
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