Raising kids is hands down, the toughest job on the planet. You do everything you can to make sure they stay safe and healthy. But did you know that studies indicate happy kids grow up to be more successful adults? So if you want to raise teens who turn into happy, healthy adults then there’s more to it than just keeping them alive!
It turns out that happiness provides a significant advantage in the real world. According to the studies, happy people are more likely to earn a college degree, get a good job with better pay, and get promoted more quickly than unhappy people.
How To Raise Teens Who Become Happy Adults
A key component of happiness comes from developing resilience; knowing that when life knocks you down, you can get right back up. Resilience isn’t a talent, but rather a skill that can be developed.
You can help your child build resilience by teaching them how to put things into perspective. Being able to face challenges and adapt to constant change means recognizing the significance, or insignificance, of life events. Teach your kids not to sweat the small stuff and choose their battles wisely. But do this without being dismissive about their emotions, no matter how irrational they may appear to you.
Instill & Model Productivity
Feelings of accomplishment naturally lead to happiness. We feel good about ourselves when we are productive individuals. You can instill productivity in your child by helping them make decisions on their own over time. The more autonomy your teenager has, the more capable they will become.
It’s also crucial that you help your teen discover their interests, talents and abilities. Individuals that have clarity of what their passions are and what makes them tick, have a much higher capacity for reaching goals.
It may seem counterintuitive, but teens cannot develop independence on their own. They just don’t have the perspective or experience necessary to separate from you. Independence is a gift you give to your children.
You can help your teen become more independent by:
Teaching Responsibility: Help your kid have a clear understanding of what is expected of them at home and at school as well as the consequences for not fulfilling those expectations.
Demand Accountability: Say what you mean and mean what you say and see those consequences through to the end. If you don’t hold your child accountable for their own behavior and actions, they won’t be able to hold themselves accountable as adults.
Practice Letting Go: It’s important not to send mixed signals to your teen during this time. As you help them become more independent, practice letting them go. Be open to stepping back as they step forward. This isn’t easy and requires you have a support system of your own.
You’re embarking on an exciting journey; one with many ups and downs. The best thing you can do is to let your teenager know you’re there for them and that they can talk to you about anything. Honest and open communication is crucial during this time.
Parenting is the hardest and most important job you will ever have. Doing it without the proper support and guidance makes it even more challenging. If you want to raise teens who become better than you, then find an awesome therapist you like and trust to help.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Greater New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.