Helping your teen take control

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This page describes how to help your teen take control of the health care. Help them handle stress and make sure to have effective communication skills.

Key points

  • Encourage your teen to recognize their stress levels and learn healthy ways to manage their stress.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with your teen to help alleviate stress for both of you.

In the teen program, we provide a variety of ways to help your teen manage their JIA. You may find that not every strategy works for your teenager or for your family. This is why it is important to try each of the strategies to find out which ones work best. Once you know the most effective strategies, with practice, you and your teenager can continue to use them.

Helping your teenager handle stress

In the teen program, we have information about how to recognize stress and the impact stress can have on mind and body. We also provide some strategies and exercises they can use to manage the effects of stress.

As a parent, you can help your teenager manage stress. Encourage them to recognize their stress level and learn healthy ways to manage stress.

You can role model positive ways in which to handle stress. These include making time for yourself, learning to say no when you have too many demands on your time, eating healthy and staying active.

Similar to your teenager, you may have your own set of stressors to deal with, like your career, financial worries or other children. Helping your teenager through a JIA flare can make your stress worse. Taking time for yourself can help to reduce your own stress.

Sometimes it can help if you get support from a friend or a counsellor. Remember that you are setting an example for your teenager about the importance of self-care. Even though you may not want to take the time to care for yourself, do it to show your teenager that it is important.

Communicating effectively

Talking with your teenager can be difficult and even stressful at times. However, having effective communication skills can help ease that stress. Good communication involves:

  • being direct and calm
  • being non-judgmental
  • being assertive
  • including your perspective and feelings
  • listening and letting your teenager know that you are in fact listening
  • planning what you would like to say in advance (and when to say it)
  • trying to keep things positive
  • trying to work together to resolve problems.

The following pages give ideas on how you can encourage healthy coping behaviours in your teenager.

Last updated: January 31st 2017