Does Your Teen Need Healthy Ways to Relax?

I noticed that my teen was interacting with a screen at the end of the day more than I wanted him to. This was before he had a phone. That is a whole other animal. I noticed that this was his way of unwinding after all the demands of his day. If I wanted him to watch less TV then he would need a replacement that he enjoyed that also met the criteria of relaxation.

So, I brought it up on a car ride (where so many great conversations happen) one day. I didn’t premise this with, “I want you to watch less TV”. I opened it like it was something that just entered my mind in the moment. In other words, a sneak attack.

I asked him: What are your top five ways to relax? Knowing that I was going to ask this, I prepared by having ideas for him and my own top five ways to relax to make this a reciprocal conversation and not put him on the spot.

If you also want your girls to find ways to de-stress, relax more and rest more. Ask them the above question. If they can come up with five easily, ask for ten. If you think it would be helpful, print them out on colored paper and post them where she can see them every day. Encourage your girls to incorporate self-care into their lives now, not when they are an overwhelmed forty-something working mom of three.  Let this self-care become a way of life. Help them to get to know themselves – what calms them and how they feel when it is time to dive into relaxation.

Questions to ask to help them learn self-care:

  • How do you know when you need relaxation?
  • How do you know when you are stressed?
  • Where do you feel it in your body?
  • What does is feel like?
  • Can you give it a number in terms of its intensity – between 1-10?
  • If you are feeling a five or above, then that would be a good day to incorporate some rest.
  • What are your top five favorite ways to relax?

Now that you have read this, go find a hammock to relax in.

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