Yes, Valentines Day is coming and there are plenty of teenagers who might feel unloved, unattractive, and unnoticed because of a lack of a significant other. What is a parent to do when your teenager comes home from school complaining that she is the only one without a boyfriend or that she didn’t receive a Valentine’s card because no one cares?
Here are three suggestions that I have used to help my teenagers during what could be a very difficult holiday. Check out these ideas, and then let me know other suggestions that you can add to this list.
- Let your teenager know that you have been there, too. Been there and done that. Life is a journey, and there are times when we are single and times when we have connections. Talk with your teens, in the privacy of your own home, about your experiences so that they know they are not alone. The home is a safe haven and a place where teens can share honestly with parents. Parents can be supportive by sharing their experiences as well.
- Listen to your teen. Really listen before giving advice. Hear what your teen has to say. The more you listen and learn about the reality of today’s teenage environment, the more closely aligned you can be with your comments. Communication is a key element in any relationship, and keeping open lines of communication available is a healthy way to maintain and strengthen your bonds with your teenager. It’s not easy to be a teenager in the 21st century, and showing understanding and compassion goes a long way to helping teens manage.
- Create year-round family activities to remind your teens that they are always important. Start some family traditions that you can enjoy whenever kids need an emotional boost. Enjoy meals together so that there is time for conversations and you can keep up with the many different events occurring throughout your teen’s daily schedule. Include some opportunities for family time by watching movies, playing games or taking in a special event in town.
Parents have an opportunity to help teens through what could be a difficult holiday by showing compassion, understanding and sharing time together. These are my three suggestions, but I’d like to hear from you. How do you help your teen through Valentine’s Day? Do you have an advice or tips to add?
About Dr. Ann Gatty
Ann Gatty, Ph.D.is a life coach, inforpreneur, author and organizational strategist. She has taught in classrooms and organizational training sessions and now works as a life coach for professional and personal development. Dr. Gatty has developed curriculum for college courses, organizational training and personal development. From her work and personal experiences, she finds a continuous need among women, of all walks of life, to find a life balance between professional goals and personal responsibilities. Ann Gatty hosts a website, www.stress-management-4-women.com, which offers stress management strategies, life skill development, and a means of finding your true passion in life. She has also authored Discovering God’s Recipe for a Healthy Body, Heart and Soul. Ann Gatty earned a Ph.D. in Instruction and Learning from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education. She is married, the mother of two young adult boys, and shares her home with her husband, two Great Danes and a Bassett Hound.