If you’ve witnessed your teen get stuck while making a decision in their life, you may have wondered what you could do to help as a parent. Read on to see how you can go about helping them to make intentional decisions in their life without applying unnecessary pressure on them.
Guide Them on the Way Forward
At times when your teenager is stuck on making a decision in an area that you’re familiar with or have experienced before, it’s good to guide them on the way forward. This doesn’t have to be everything that they go through, but just some key decisions that may have an impact on their future. These should also be decisions that leave them room to explore by themselves in the future. For example, with over 157 million Americans taking part in the United States workforce, your teenager may be struggling to make a decision to do with work. You can help them make the initial decisions and only guide them from a distance from this point henceforth.
Give Them Space
While this may sound like it’s in direct opposition to the first tip, it isn’t. This is because while you guide your teens, you should not swoop in to take total control of their lives. Only provide them with the help they truly need at any given time and then step back to let them handle what they feel they can handle. Doing this will give them room to practice decision-making for their adult lives as you ideally shouldn’t be the one making those for them. When they feel that they can rely on you while still maintaining control of their lives, they’re likely to develop better boundaries and become well-rounded adults.
Validate their Feelings
Whenever you come across your teen in a state of indecision, don’t brush off their concerns and minimize them. While they may not make much sense to you, understand that you’re in different age groups and so there are many things they could go through that you may not value or understand. This does not mean that you should brush off their concerns. Even if they grow to realize that they were non-issues, they’re issues at this moment for them. Empower them to deal with the things that they’re going through by letting them know that it makes sense for them to be scared and unsure. For instance, with millions of people suffering injuries on highways in the United States every single year, you should help your teen work their way around decisions like attending parties with their peers. Rather than tell them that they don’t have to go to the party and that they shouldn’t care what their friends will think if they don’t go, let them know the risks that come with drinking and driving.
Allow Open Communication
Finally, create an environment in which your teen can communicate freely with you if they need help. This will ensure that they know they can turn to you for help and guidance on decisions that are difficult for them to make by themselves. When they know that they can rely on you, they may develop better self-esteem and grow into responsible and level-headed adults. If they tell you, for instance, that they’re insecure about their smile, you could help them look into treatment options. These may include Invisalign, of which 47% of teen users in a survey said helped boost their self-esteem during treatment. This compares to a mere 22% of teens with metal braces, according to Docplayer.
Use these tips to talk to your teen about tough decisions and you will help to bring up responsible young adults.