How To Make This The Year You FINALLY Get A Happier Teen

It’s 2019! Can you believe it? Don’t you hate when people say that? It’s kind of repetitive because most people say it every year.

“I can’t believe it’s a new year.”

We make big goals. We have big plans. We go to crowded gym classes and buy piles of goal-setting journals. We vow to spend less time on our social media and to have more of a social life.  Everyone goes in with the same mindset:

This is going to be THE YEAR.

That enthusiasm and positive energy only tend to last for a few weeks before falling back into even older habits and then the cycle starts up again around December 29th of that year.

While I don’t have the key to making all of the positive changes you want to make stick, I can tell you exactly what you can do to make sure that 2019 is the year you finally get a happier teen.  I know this is a goal you’ve had and you’ve tried a lot of things before so what makes this year different? I’ll give you a few pieces of advice to make sure it actually is DIFFERENT.

 STOP TALKING AND START LISTENING

Teens are being told what to do, and how to do it, all day long. Their teachers give them assignments, their peers tell them if what they’re wearing or doing is “cool enough.”

When they get home and start opening up to you about their problems, it’s easy to go into “problem-solving, fix-it” mode.

Heck- this is your baby and no Mama or Papa Bear is going to let THEIR cub feel hurt if you can help it!

But that’s not usually what they need. They just need someone to listen, so they can process all their thoughts and feelings out loud. Plus, you’ll be more likely to get a few golden nuggets about whether they’re making healthy choices if you stop talking, and just listen.

LET THEM KNOW THEY AREN’T CRAZY

Being a teenager is so tough! There are SO many competing choices, opinions and feelings – and let’s not forget those crazy hormones – it can make anyone feel like they’re a bit unhinged.

If your teen is sharing it, it’s important to them, and they need to know their feelings make sense. Even if you think getting upset because Chelsea said green pencils aren’t cool anymore is ridiculous, they need you to validate their experience makes sense, because it’s important to them.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

If you tell your over-achieving, anxious teen they need to stop worrying so much about their grades, and start making time to have fun with their friends, you better be doing the same!

Have you heard the phrase, “monkey see, monkey do”? Teens are on high alert to observe the world around them. They may not always let you know they’re listening or paying attention, but they are constantly checking to see if you mean what you say. When you practice what you preach, you’re showing them it’s possible to do what you suggest.

**BONUS POINTS** if you do these strategies around their friends. Teens tend to listen to their peers more directly than adults. So if their friends see you in action, they may suggest the same strategies to your teen when you’re not around.

Ultimately, making this year YOUR year to finally get a happier teen is about doing things in a way you never have before. You have to remember that you don’t succeed in making your goals a reality by doing things the same way you’ve always done them. Something MUST change. It’s not enough to have the declaration. If it was, you would have figured this out YEARS ago. If you really want to get a happier teen, it’s time to make some changes.

While I can’t personally help all your teens get happier, I’ve realized that when it comes to improving teens’ moods and attitudes, you have to start with where they’re at. Did you know I share weekly videos on my YouTube channel that will help you get happier teens? You can subscribe here: https://youtube.com/c/mallorygrimste?sub_confirmation=1

I know how hard it is to actually get a happier teen. That’s why it’s your goal for 2019, right? I’d love to invite you to work with me this year. I share a lot in these free posts and in my emails but there’s nothing like that 1-on-1 connection and in-depth work to really make a change.  So much of my work is about helping people develop the skills needed to really succeed at having a happier life. If you are really passionate about making this year the year you go into 2020 knowing it’s DONE, let’s work together.


Want even more positive influences in your teen's life? Teen Girls Therapy Group is a weekly space where your teen girl can connect with others dealing with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. By talking and learning together, they learn to feel better about the relationships they have with themselves and others.

Apply for a spot now by calling 203-228-8971 or completing this form.

Mallory Grimste, LCSW - Teen Therapist

Mental Health Counseling for Anxious Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults | Woodbridge, CT