Things I Should’ve Told My Teenage Self That Would’ve Eased My Mental Health

Throughout my teenage years, I dealt with a lot of mental health issues. I had social anxiety, depression, and OCD; I genuinely thought that I would not reach my 40th birthday. But when I received counseling treatment, my world became brighter.

Here are the things I should’ve told my teenage self that would’ve eased my mind.

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It Is Okay To Speak Your Mind

Since I lived in a patriarchal family, my father was typically the only one who could speak his mind freely. He did not think of how my mother and I felt whenever he was too honest about what we were doing wrong, claiming it was tough love. It did not mean that my father knew everything, though. Sometimes, he merely wanted to exercise his power and make us follow his lead.

In reality, I could only cry whenever my father said mean things to me throughout my teenage years. That’s especially true when he commented about my weight and used “fatty” as a term of endearment. Though I was still far from being overweight or obese, such words made me too self-conscious, to the extent that I hid under baggy clothes and often thought that I would never be taken seriously by anyone.

Note to young self: No matter how close-minded you think your parents are, there are ways to make them listen to you. You can start by using your voice to express what’s on your mind. Say how much their words hurt you; don’t just take it all in quietly. You may be surprised at how their treatment may improve once they realize its effect on you.

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Stop Worrying About Being Disliked By People

In every faction, people adhere to the norms created by their predecessors to avoid getting criticized for their actions. For instance, a student should always strive to be on top of the class to make the parents proud. Otherwise, folks will lose their interest in them and pay them no mind.

I used to be among those kids who worried about other people disliking me, to the point that I tried everything to stick to the norms. I studied hard, learned how to be prim and proper, and never toed any line. However, some individuals still tried to bully me, and my parents always had something to say about what aspects of myself I needed to improve. That made me resentful and felt like I was worse than others.

Note to young self: Norms are not like laws that may place you in prison when you disobey them. You need to please nobody but yourself. If you continue to worry about being disliked by people, you will forget to figure out what makes you likable and who adores you despite your flaws.

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Wear Whatever You Want – It’s Nobody’s Business

When I was growing up, my parents only allowed me to wear mid-length dresses or baggy pants because I was naturally curvy, and they said I did not want to attract unwanted attention. They eventually let me put on fitted jeans and knee-length skirts when I became a teenager, provided that I wore hoodies or long-sleeved shirts to avoid accentuating my large bosom. Despite all that, I heard other moms criticizing my parents for letting me wear “provocative clothes.”

I could not help but feel ashamed of my body at the time. I thought that it was a curse to be born with a curvy body, so I started wearing gender-neutral clothes after that. I envied the petite girls in my school who could put on whatever they wanted, but I accepted my fate.

Note to young self: There is nothing provocative about long-sleeved tops, skirts, dresses, or even fitted jeans. Being sexy is not your fault, and you should not be afraid to flaunt it. After all, you are not using your body to flirt with guys or get anything you want.

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See Mistakes As Learning Curbs, Not As Catalysts For The End Of The World

My parents typically scolded me for hours whenever I messed up at school or home. It did not matter if I merely forgot to fix my bed in the morning or got an A- in my exams instead of an A+ — they said that mistakes were unforgiveable. Hence, I always beat myself up for not doing everything correctly.

My dream of being perfect drove some of my friends away. Again, I was unhappy, but my parents’ opinions mattered more to me than anything. Whenever I failed, I called myself names and even thought of self-harming.

Note to young self: The world will not crumble when you make mistakes. It is normal to commit them, especially for teenagers who still don’t know how the world works. All you can do is learn from them.

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Final Thoughts

I cannot turn back time and change every awful thing that happened when I was a teenager. But I choose to live my life however I want now, regardless of what others say about me.

A Family Guide To Helping Tweens Survive Puberty

 

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You’ve gone through the ups and downs of puberty. Now, your tween will be going through the transition of being a child to a teen. Of course, you’d expect this to be a hell of a ride – not for your tween alone, but parents and the whole family.

While you are aware that the puberty phase does have an ending, your tween is currently in it, and she won’t realize that the trials confronting her are only short-term, which will most probably create more serious problems for her. But you can help her through this confusing and daunting stage of her life, with just a little time of your day, some patience and empathy, and a whole lot of love for your tween.

However, before we go right to it, let’s understand puberty better.

Puberty Defined

Puberty is a transformation that everyday undergoes. It is a period of change where the child’s body changes to that of an adult. The increased hormones will result in various growth processes in girls and boys and may potentially cause chaos within a teen’s personal emotions, including their skin and body. The transformation is completed in a maximum of four years, and every child will develop and transition at different speeds than their friends.

It is not uncommon for kids to compare themselves to those who are also going through the same phase as them, and sometimes they may be frustrated that some of their peers are maturing early or late compared to them.

Puberty in Boys

Families will most likely see the signs of puberty in boys when they are 11 or 12 years old. At this age, their voice deepens, and their muscles grow. You’ll also notice that hair from male sex organs and armpits are starting to grow, including physical growth in the organ and the testicles as well. Other physical signs will also include body odor, growth spurts, and acne.

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Puberty in Girls

For girls, puberty comes earlier, perhaps by 8 or 9, which is not extraordinary at all, and menstruation may start when they are 11 or 12 years old. Like the boys, girls also present with physical signs such as breast development, pubic and underarm hair growth, body odor, menstruation, growth spurts, and facial acne.

Some girls show signs of maturity before reaching 8, which is an abnormal condition known as precocious puberty. This is treatable and should be assessed by a pediatrician.

Helping your Tween Survive Puberty

The initial step to take in helping your tween go through the ups and downs of this confusing stage is to prepare her for the foreseeable changes. Teens have sex education classes that will definitely touch on the topic of puberty and will answer almost all of your child’s curious and personal queries. If not, assure your tween that you are there to answer them and not hesitate to ask you.

Provide Instructions

One day, your daughter will have to know the directions of using a tampon or a pad, or your tween son must know how to deal with the annoying growth spurts or how to shave. Make sure you provide them with the tools that they need to achieve what must be done.

Your tween might also require information about personal hygiene, so help her learn the proper way to clean her body while in the shower, how to use a deodorant, and other hygiene practices. If you’re not very comfortable teaching her, assign someone who can, probably her older sibling, a cousin, or a close friend. If you don’t have any of these resources, you can always find a great online site to provide her with personal hygiene information and tools.

Be Patient

Tweens frequently experience erratic mood changes and other emotional flare-ups, so be patient with your child. She must learn to be aware of her own behaviors that are not appropriate, and at the same time, you’ll have to know when it is fine to let her vent and release her frustrations, irritability, and other emotions.

By now, you know almost everything about your child’s personality, so it would be wise to trust your intuition when you decide on how you will deal with her. Help her deal with her erratic emotions as well. Often, time alone with your tween can really help, or some exercise like walks or runs could do wonders. When you give her positive distractions, you are giving your tween time to let her think about what she’s going through and then try to fix her problem internally.

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Pay Attention to the Physical Transition

Your tween is developing and growing, and you should pay attention to the physical changes that come with it. Depending on what kind of day it is, your child may either be scared or excited about these changes. Don’t ever ignore these feelings. Your tween may be worried about pimples, painful breasts, and voice changes, among other changes. Offer help and support to your tween and as a parent or family member, assure her that you understand what she’s going through. Acne is particularly worrisome for tweens, so make sure that you address the issue. If possible, talk to your tween’s pediatrician for professional advice on how to manage it medically.

Bottom Line

The teenage and adolescence phases, which make up the puberty period, are generally stressful, despite possible positive situations. As parents, you must make sure that your tween has an outlet for her anxieties and worries. Sports, exercise, and other fun activities are great ways to distract her from puberty issues and provide her a means to move forward. Ultimately, commit to making time with your tween as a parent or as a family member.

 

Help Children Adjust To The New Normal

With all the health dangers of the pandemic, it is quite a relief to know that kids appear to be less affected by COVID-19 than adults. However, if the children have pre-existing medical conditions, they may have a different risk associated with mental, emotional, and physical malfunction. With that, parents should take extra care to keep the children safe. But note that children’s needs vary from one person to another, so some tips might not be suitable for some kids.

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Explain The Situation In The Most Simplest Way – Kids are smart. They know what is happening around them, but they don’t have that specific understanding of the ways of adjustments. With that, parents must explain to the kids the situation in the way that it won’t add fear and anxiety. That way, kids will understand the significance of frequently washing their hands, social distancing, and proper self-care.

Do Not Panic – Parents can help children adjust to the new normal provided that they are mentally and emotionally stable. When parents panic, it becomes easy for the kids to feel the same. From there, the children will start to show anxiety symptoms. Parents should assure the kids that everything will pass and that there is nothing to worry about. Parents’ continual assurance is essential in keeping the kids emotionally safe and secure.

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Never Let The Children Listen to Anything From The Media – The media are all hyped up, and it doesn’t give people an entirely accurate picture of what’s happening. Therefore, it would be much better if parents limit the kids’ access to negative news updates concerning the Coronavirus. That is to avoid adding damage to their emotional and mental issues, especially when the news is about the rising number of infected people and their death.

Consider Home Schooling – If parents think that their children are vulnerable to the infection, it is much better that they let the kids stay at home. If they believe that it is not safe to send kids to school, that is fine. They still have the option to home school them. Aside from that, parents can utilize the internet and enroll their kids for online classes.

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Do Something Fun With The Kids – It is a significant moment for kids to bond and have fun with their family. Thus, doing activities together during this time is essential. All family members can play indoors, learn to cook, read books, sing karaoke, and many more. However, parents should consider limiting screen time for the kids. That way, the kids won’t feel drained and exhausted from too much gadget exposure.

Always Stay On Schedule – The children’s adjustment period may depend on the routines they do every day. Thus, transitioning from one routine to the other may become challenging for some. Parents shouldn’t waver too much on the necessary things that children must do. These include playing, sleeping, eating on time, watching TV, and using digital devices. There will be little to no disturbance on the children’s schedule if parents can handle the transition slowly.

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Allow Social Connection Through Digital Access – The children suffer from emotional issues now that they are locked up. Thus, some of them are entirely eager to go outside and be with people. Nevertheless, to avoid the danger of carelessness, kids must stay socially connected with friends, classmates, and family despite the physical distancing protocol. That way, they will not feel alone and isolated.

At this time of the global crisis, it is hard for parents to see their children in such an unfortunate situation. But through proper care and considerations, parents can help their kids adjust to the new normal.

 

Improving Parent-Child Relationship During The Pandemic Crisis

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The pandemic situation can cause a lot of stress and difficulties, especially within a family. That is due to their limited access to the outside world that makes them think they are locked up in an unwanted situation. With that said, the inability to explore can cause toxicity because there is too much emotional and mental pressure to handle in a roof. Fortunately, there are ways that help improve family relationships, especially in this pandemic time.

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Increase Physical Contact

A family relationship becomes fragile when members begin to ignore the importance of physical connection. At some point, parents and children can become reluctant to hugging or kissing because those actions are no longer considered cool anymore. Thus, members of the family keep physical affection to a minimum. However, it shouldn’t be like that. Hugging and kissing are physical traits that remind everyone they are not alone. And during this pandemic time, everyone needs someone to hold onto.

Understand Each Other’s Responsibilities

Since the pandemic situation limits people to do things they need to do, more responsibilities tend to stick up on their plates. That is the reason why members of the family often ignore their duties. So to avoid that, parents and children should come up with an engaging activity that all of them can compromise doing. It will be easier for everyone to adjust and put quality time with each other despite the pressure and emotional exhaustion of being home-quarantined.

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Limit The Use of Technological Devices

The use of technological devices skyrocketed right after the start of the global lockdown. That is because people get more drawn to their smartphones and computers for the sole purpose of news and entertainment. But the habit becomes a danger to the family relationship since it promotes isolation inside the house. So for that thought, it would better if members of the family consider putting their devices aside and spend more actual time with each other. Because during these bad days, it is essential to appreciate your loved ones.

Discuss Things Before Transitioning

The pandemic situation is the cause of people’s inability to secure a normal routine. Therefore, inside the house, things can be a little different from the way it was before. For parents and children, it can be stressful. So before each member ends up changing their actions, they all need to discuss things before jumping to any transitions. Members of the family must understand each and everyone’s needs in times of crisis, whether it might be physical, emotional, or mental aspects.

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Obtain A Meaningful Conversation

Sustaining a strong relationship with parents or children is difficult during this pandemic time. At some point, an invisible distance gets created even though people are within reach. Sometimes putting an effort to connect becomes minimal to none. With that, all members of the family must practice having a meaningful conversation. 10 to 15 minutes of heart-to-heart talk can mean a lot. There is no required time for it as long as both parties value the presence of each other.

Encourage Necessary Emotional Response

In times like this that no one is certain about the future, it is crucial to maintain emotional and mental health. With that, parents and children must learn to encourage themselves to use the right emotional response. And since everyone is facing the pandemic stress differently, it is essential to be mindful of respecting each other’s thoughts and feelings. That instead of shutting them out or dismissing their feelings, members of the family should build a strong relationship through constant communication.

Ways on How To Tell Children About Divorce

When the topic of divorce hits the household, the stress level escalates not only between parents but also among children. They already hold the feeling of uncertainty the moment they sense that parents are no longer showing the natural affection they have for each other. This ambivalence can result in many harmful behaviors of the child. It is best that parents should be honest and inform children on what’s the real score between them. This article will present some ways on how to spill the beans with children without compromising the relationship of the child with either parent.

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Teenybopper: Helping My Daughter Deal With Girl Problems

Teenage is the most exciting part of one’s life.  It comes with the gift of optimism, passion, fun, excitement, and experience of many colors. It was the best moment of my life, and I want my daughter to make the most of her teenage life, too, by allowing her to experience new good things.

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Continue reading Teenybopper: Helping My Daughter Deal With Girl Problems