How can you raise your teenager to be mentally healthy as well as physically fit? The following are guidelines you can encourage in your teen:
• First, make and keep connections with others. We all need love and trust in our lives. In the give and take of relationships you can grow as a mentally healthy person.
• Second, cultivate a sense of humor. It can help keep your life in perspective and take the edge off your pain. It will also attract others to you. Laughter is a wonderful protector of mental and physical health.
• Third, accept the reality that your life will have pain, disappointments and setbacks, as well as joy and triumphs. Face and work through pain, instead of seeking to avoid it.
• Finally, tell yourself and really believe that you are in charge. You can make your own life and your own choices. You can survive loss and pain. Accept and learn to live with who you are, your feelings and limitations. You can choose to be in charge of your life and to have a wonderful life, rich with experience, warmth and love.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.