Have you ever wondered how to have a happy teenager? Why do some teenagers seem to be happier than others? Being happy isn’t a constant state of being. It requires a continuous effort. If your teenager is not happy, there are things you can encourage them to do to change the situation and improve their mental well-being.
Find things that bring them joy
The best way to increase happiness in your teenager is to find things that bring them joy. Help them to discover what it is that they love to do then try to do those things more often.
Ideas you could suggest include:
- Learning a new skill such as a musical instrument or a foreign language
- Cooking healthy and delicious meals – lots of videos online!
- Crafting and sewing. How about a macrame plant hanger kit?
- Drawing or painting – anything from cartoons to landscapes! Try designing a dress for a Princess with our free Princess Coloring Pages
- Candle making where they can experiment with scents and colors
- Pottery – very tactile
- Singing in a choir or via an online class
- Paper crafts such as making your own greetings cards or scrapbooking
- Dog walking. A great way to earn some cash whilst getting some exercise
- Grow vegetables or fruit in the garden or herbs in a windowsill pot
- Taking part in a theatre production
- Upcycling a piece of furniture from the thrift store
- Researching local history and giving a talk on this subject
- Volunteering – so long as it is suitable for their age
- Origami – this encourages concentration and patience
- An unusual sport such as bowling, sailing or riding
- Geocaching including setting up your own geocache
- Yoga or Tai Chi for mindfulness and relaxation
- Try a family activity that you can enjoy together. Try this riddle treasure hunt and see who can solve each clue first!
How can I help my teenager with emotions?
Try to keep calm. If you feel upset or angry, then this is not the best time to help your teenager. Give yourselves a break from each other until you have calmed down.
Understand that the teenage brain is not fully developed and brain maturity does not occur until the age of 25. This is partly why teenagers struggle with their feelings and emotions.
Show your teenager that you are listening to them and that you are there for them. Try to discuss neutral topics or subjects that interest you both. this way you are engaging with your teen in a way that keeps the lines of communication open between you.
Don’t judge them. Try to remember what it was like for you at their age. Did you dye your hair an unusual color or wear clothes your parents disapproved of? Give answers that show you are listening but not criticizing. Sometimes your teen just needs you to listen and they are not expecting you to fix anything. Understand that something might not seem a big deal to you but it might be to them.
Know when they need more help than you can provide. Signs to look out for are drug use, self-harming, running away, a sudden change in friends, eating problems, inappropriate anger and illegal behavior.
Gratitude is one of the best ways to increase happiness and make yourself feel good. We have all the things we need to be happy, but we don’t appreciate them. It’s not worth focusing on the negative things in our lives. We have to find a way to thank the people who have helped us and find things to be grateful for. Suggest to your teenager that you make a gratitude list either separately or together. Focus on the good things in their life. Hopefully. you’ll notice that their mood will improve, and they will feel happier.
Exercise for teenagers
Exercise improves the mood, reduces stress, and increases happiness. You can even exercise while depressed. The key to exercising is to do it regularly so support your teen in whatever way you can. Regular exercise makes you happier, but it also gives you more energy throughout the day and improves your health.
Trying new ways of exercising is a great way to support your teen. You could even exercise together – if they allow it! How about hula hooping? Maybe you could go for a brisk walk together. They will probably enjoy seeing you puffed out when they are fresh as a daisy! You can compare your step count for the day.
Exercise isn’t all about sports and PE lessons at school. There are plenty of other options such as pilates or archery.
Suggest they put YOU into BootCamp with them as the instructor. Suddenly, they will be encouraging you to walk upstairs rather than getting the lift or making you jog around the park on an organized park run!
Being around people who make them happy is one of the best ways to help your teen to be happy. It is like a natural high. Happiness is contagious. Studies show that people around happy people in their lives are more likely to be happy themselves.
Help your teenager to make friends by mentioning good qualities you see in their peers (kind of recommending people). You can also suggest that they could bond over a common interest by joining a club for example.
Play to their strengths. If they like to chat, encourage them to meet friends for a coffee. If they prefer sports, get them to join a team rather than take part in an individual sport.
Try to find out if there is any reason they don’t want to bring friends home. When they do bring friends back, provide snacks and soft drinks then retreat gracefully and give them some space!
Journaling can help your teen to work through their feelings and improve their self-awareness. You must NEVER real their journal unless they suggest this. You would not want them reading yours and you must give them the same respect that you expect for yourself. Besides this, if you read their journal and found something out, you are already on the back foot when it comes to discussing this with them.
If you have any great tips or tricks that have worked with your teenager and made them happier then please leave us a comment below. We all need to know how to have a happy teenager!
You might also like to read these posts:
What powerful life skills should every teenager aim to learn?
Fun things to do as a teenager this Summer
Get this happiness journal for teenagers.
14 different pages with prompts to guide them on their happiness journey.
Customize with mix ‘n’ match pages to make it your own
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