Start the Conversation
Helping kids learn to navigate the world comes in many forms. As a parent, you coach your young child on the skills needed to walk, talk, eat, and grow. As your child grows, new skills are needed to navigate increasing responsibility. As these and physical changes occur, many feelings and emotions arise. Teenage life is a whole new world for you and your child. This journey requires more advanced emotional skills that need to be taught, practiced, and reinforced. Improvement comes through disappointments and trying again. Together you can make this transition a healthier one.
Talking with your tween about social and emotional health can be hard. The more often you have these conversations, the more comfortable they become. The first conversation won’t be perfect; that’s ok. The important thing is the you keep trying; this is not a one-time conversation.
Not sure when to start? How about now? Parents find that having these conversations while driving, making dinner, or while doing something fun is a great way to start. Use examples from your child’s life such as books, movies, TV, or daily events, to continue the conversation.
You know your child best. When you notice something off about your child, that’s a good time to chat. You can use your child's life experiences, like a fight with friends or a less than stellar grade, to start a conversation. Talking about the situation, feelings, and responses from everyone involved provides an opportunity to learn and grow.
Below are links to other valuable resources that may be helpful for your and your family:
- AAP: Children & Media Tips
- American Psychological Association: Digital Guidelines- Promoting Health Technology Use for Children
- AACAP: Social Media & Teens
- Healthy Children
- Seize the Awkward
- NAMI Utah
- Child Mind Institute
- PBS Kids
- SelectHealth LiveWell
- Utah State Board of Education
- DSAMH Youth Programs
- Help Me Grow Utah