The teenage years can be challenging enough with pressures from school, peers and awakening self identity heading to adulthood. Throughout it all, we try to help our teen (and our kids) remember to laugh and smile with techniques we have developed. Please share yours!
1. Ask the Question: Favorite Part of the Day?: At night we try to ask our teen what his favorite part of the day was. While at first he rolled his eyes, now he actually looks forward to it. We especially like to ask him “what made him laugh” which usually ends up making us laugh!
2. Watch or Read Funny Content (age appropriate): When my teen gets stressed about school work at night we like to take some comedy breaks. When I was young we used to read comics, funny stories and jokes to laugh. The modern teen gets many of their content online. Because our family has regular “internet safety” talks we have discussed what web sites are appropriate and what are inappropriate. Lately it seems that videos of dogs wearing GoPro cameras really makes my teen laugh (my teen uses his GoPro all the time). But we still like a good old fashioned joke now and then to bring more smiles into our house.
3. Get Active: There is something about either being outside, family hikes or bike rides, going to our health club or participating in sports that seems to put a smile on our boys’ faces. For my teen, going on mountain biking rides with his friends scores a bigger smile even if they make it a more challenging ride (which leaves him sore but happy). Sometimes we even just go for a walk after dinner and end up having a great discussion while in motion.
4. Get Social: No matter what type of mood my teen is in, going to social events either as a family or with his friends seem to leave him smiling. We even like to sneak a dinner out during the school week now and then to celebrate getting homework or big projects done.
5. Dental Health: One of the surprising things I learned about my son was that he was self conscious about smiling because of his teeth. Luckily that is something we could fix – so we set out to correct his teeth (crowding) with Invisalign. He is half way through his Invisalign Teen treatment and already he is feeling better about his smile. And there is something that always warms my heart seeing my teen smile!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. My son has received complimentary treatment from Align, but all opinions expressed are my own. Here is information on the Invisalign smile assessment, treatment process and how to find a Doc.