Quick Links: Your 14-Year-Old Teen
Teen Wellness Issue: Diet and Nutrition
The 14-year-old teen is starting high school and will be making more and more of their own food choices. Breakfast can be hit or miss, depending on if your teen is getting out of bed early enough to get ready and eat before going to school. And high school lunches are often so bad they are the butt of jokes and your fourteen-year-old teenager may feel pressure from their peers to skip it or purchase junk food out of the vending machine instead. Here are a few tips to get your teen some healthy nutrition during a regular day:
- Offer grab and go breakfasts like wholesome breakfast bars or cleaned fruit.
- Keep filling and nutritious after-school snacks that they enjoy eating available.
- Start dinner with a salad, even if you are offering another vegetable during the meal.
- Talk to your teen and ask them to help come up with solutions on what they would like to pack for lunch. Sometimes our teens have the solutions, we just need to ask.
Teen Wellness Issue: Sleep
Teens often like to go to bed very late at night, sometimes because they find themselves unable to sleep. If your 14-year-old teen is having problems getting to sleep at night, here are some suggestions of things you can do to help:
- Talk to your teen about their nightly routine. If they are keeping themselves busy until 9:30 or 10:00 at night and then expect to fall right to sleep, they are mistaken. Quiet activities for at least an hour before they want to sleep is helpful.
- Establish a time to unplug from the world around them, I suggest one hour before their normal lights out.
- It's hard to sleep when you haven't finished your homework or you are having a fight with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Try and help your teen take care of all of their responsibilities before bedtime and talk to them about looking on the brighter side of things, as fights with friends will work themselves out.
Teen Wellness Issue: Exercise
High school is full of clubs and sports teams that encourage fitness. Talk to your teen about joining these. High school gyms have open to student hours as well and your teen can check into using the gym for fitness activities at those times.
Learning how to be a fit person who exercises regularly is as important to a 14-year-old teen's wellness as getting the exercise they need today. Establishing healthy fitness habits will give your teen the advantage in keeping a healthy body for the rest of their life.
Teen Wellness Issue: Stress
Fourteen-year-old teens tend to lose the moodiness that the beginning of puberty can bring and are getting used to the changes in their body and their world. They look forward to new changes as these changes come with more freedom and privileges therefore, they stress about these changes very little.
Freshman high school students will feel some stress because of starting in a new school that has very different rules. But if your teen sees this as another way to gain freedom and they take this step with a positive peer group, the stress will be beneficial; pushing them to do what is expected of them. It will help them mature.
That said, 14-year-old girls can be overly dramatic and 'stress' about every little thing: boyfriends, best friends, appearance, their outfits, school, etc. If this sounds like your daughter, teach her how to de-stress through deep breathing techniques and keeping her thoughts positive.
Behaviors, Responsibilities and Discipline
It is important for the parent of a new high school student to establish the routines and responsibilities with their 14-year-old. By setting rules and routines, you will allow your teen to use their newly found independence to grow and mature as an individual. When parents fail to set the foundation of rules and routines, that is when teenagers get mixed messages and have a much harder time navigating the world in which they live.
Quick Links: Your 14-Year-Old Teen