As a parent, it can be fairly normal to deal with an anxious teenager. However, sometimes, the parent can find themselves more anxious. It can be scary to loosen the reigns on your child as they turn into teenagers, allowing them to go out with their friends and enjoy a little more independence. Letting go can be tough, and very scary if you tend to overthink and imagine the worst. Being able to let your teen go out there and experience the world is important for their development, but of course, you should have peace of mind, too. Let’s take a look at how you can handle your anxiety relating to letting go and allowing your teen to explore:
Recognize Unhelpful Thoughts
Being able to recognize your unhelpful thoughts before they take hold of you can help you to relax. These thoughts are often catastrophic and unfounded, and will creep in and surprise you. Don’t allow yourself to get lost in them. Is there any evidence of the thing you’re worried about? Probably not. Question your thoughts. It’s likely that you have had thoughts like this before and they did not materialize. There’s a difference between parental intuition and parental anxiety, and it’s important to differentiate.
Connect With Your Teen
Being able to connect with your teen is important if you want a good relationship with them. If you’re constantly worrying about them, you will spend more time lecturing, nagging, and hovering over them than actually connecting with them. Plan things you can do together – and make the most of the time they want to spend with you. Just don’t try to keep them with you most of the time so that they are not out with their friends!
Accept The Things You Can’t Control
There are things you can control, for example, teaching your teen good morals and values. There are things you can’t control, such as who your teen is friends with. You can control the food you keep in the house, but you can’t control the food they eat. Don’t turn these things into a battle of wills. They do need to learn from their own mistakes, and they have plenty of time to learn from them. As long as you are setting a good example, they should pay attention. Don’t forget, you can’t wrap your teen up in cotton wool. Imagining yourself looking for relentless pedestrian accident attorneys after getting a call from the hospital about a broken leg might seem like the most terrifying thing in the world, but try to put things into context. These things happen, and they are quite normal.
Figure Out What’s Really Making You Anxious
This anxiety can stem from a deeper place. For example, problems in your relationship could mean you see issues with your teen that aren’t really there, as you’re intent on focusing on them rather than the actual problem. Be honest with yourself.
Show Them That They Can Talk To You
Love and support your teen unconditionally (this doesn’t mean without discipline), and they will see that they can talk to you. This also means finding a way to keep your emotions in check if they tell you something that you don’t like!