Updated: May 26
Being a positive role model to teens during stressful times
It is during difficult times like this stay-at-home order, when we need our social network, our evening coffees, our “beauty days” or “game nights”, and our time alone to destress more than ever before. However, if you have not been able to get these benefits as usual, I am with you! As a parent of a 13 year old in middle school and a 9 month old baby, I share the empathy with other parents who find this time of uncertainty stressful.
Throughout my motherhood journey, I have done many things with my kids that I have seen my mother do before. Whether taught directly to me or just seeing my mom’s reaction to stress, some of these memories become automatic to me as I raise my own kids.
Research shows that parents are still the #1 influence in a teens’ life and can greatly contribute to teens making a healthy decision to say “NO” to underage drinking.
As parents, we play a role in influencing positive coping strategies and teaching those to our children.
So I encourage parents and other mentors to share your coping strategies with your teens. If you go on a morning run, explain to your kids why you like doing that. Think of the little actions you do each day to destress yourself and find that spark of happiness.
Now that the world is more connected on social media apps, I’ve seen many great ideas to connect with teens and children of all ages in creative ways. Try making Tik Tok challenges (my daughter gets a pretty good laugh out of these!), or have a “never will I ever complain about…” conversation while you walk around the neighborhood. The more time you spend with your teen, the easier it will be to start the conversations about underage drinking or any other topic.
Lastly, may I also suggest to be careful with the alcohol consumption you have in your home, so that teens can get the best out of our guidance to a healthy balanced life now and in the future. Do not provide alcohol to teens. Connect, Communicate, and Commit.
SPF-PFS Project Lead
Kenneth Young Center