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5 Steps to Help Your Teen Stay Upbeat

Teen girl folding arms and showing confidence in class

In today's world, mental well-being is a big deal. Let me share a story about Julie, a 17-year-old dealing with feeling really down. Julie thought she was failing at everything and that nothing could get better.

The surprising part? It all traced back to how her parents talked about life.The way that the parents played out in life stuck with their kids. They blamed a dented car on not trusting people, mom yelling on just being in a bad mood, and success on knowing the right people.

Parents, your way of thinking is always on display, and your kids are paying attention!

Why Being Positive Matters? Why should you want your teen to be positive? Dr. Martin Seligman says, "Being negative all the time has big consequences—feeling down, giving up too easily, not doing well in school, and even not being healthy."

Teens who see the bright side handle failures better, feel more in control, and can bounce back when things go wrong.

Since parents have a big say in how their kids think, here are five simple steps to make sure your teen's mind stays healthy.

How Parents Can Help?

Step 1: Be positive yourself. What you say and do every day matters more than what you try to teach. Show optimism in your own thoughts. It takes practice, but everyone can learn to see life differently.

Step 2: Tell your teen that thoughts and feelings are connected. Share your own thoughts out loud, like when someone cuts you off while driving. Say something like, "I'm feeling mad because I thought I'd be late. That driver is so slow during rush hour. How rude!"

Step 3: Play the 'thought-catching' game. Help your teen notice what they think when they feel bad. For example, if they get a bad grade, ask, "What went through your mind when you saw the grade?"

Step 4: Teach them to check their thoughts. Not everything they think is true. After a bad grade, they might think they're a failure or not as smart as others. These thoughts are strong but not always right.

Step 5: Guide them to think differently when bad things happen. Help them see that bad events might not be as awful as they think. Look for proof that things can be better—good grades before, success in other parts of life, and so on.

Parents, by imbuing optimistic thinking, you wield the brush that shapes your teen's perception of the world. It's a simple yet profound way to craft a positive narrative for their well-being!

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