Health is an extremely important topic that should be discussed openly and honestly. Unfortunately, too many parents shy away from talking to their kids about it for a number of reasons. You tend to find that covering surface topics such as getting regular check ups from the doctor and things like colds are common to discuss, but beyond that, unless there is a specific problem, it’s not talked about much. This needs to change and you need to know how to go about talking to your teens about their health.
In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the ways that you can do this, so keep reading down below to find out more.
Approach It Carefully
The first thing that we suggest is that you approach the subject carefully. We all know what teens are like, talking to their parents about things can be difficult. They might feel awkward, embarrassed or like they know everything and don’t need to talk to you.
They don’t realise it yet, but they definitely don’t know everything and you could have some valuable insight for them. As such, you need to approach your teen carefully. Try starting out with some simple things, asking them questions that aren’t too direct but still give you the answers that you are looking for.
Try to use phrases like ‘it’s up to you’ and ‘you’re in control of your own body’ to let them know that they always have a choice when it comes to their health.
If your teen feels as though you are trying to pressure them into leading a different lifestyle, it’s not going to work. Don’t try to force healthy food on them, or say things like ‘maybe you should eat a salad’ because this is going to have negative consequences.
Don’t Shy Away From Hard Topics
A large problem right now is that some parents tend to shy away from the harder topics as they can be uncomfortable to discuss.
If your teen notices that you are uncomfortable, they aren’t going to want to talk to you about it. By reacting this way to certain topics, you are giving them the impression that they are taboo topics and something to be ashamed of. Never let your teen feel this way because you need them to feel like they can come to you about everything and anything, especially their health.
This is going to be particularly important for things such as mental and sexual health.
These are not topics that should be kept to yourself, and they are often the toughest to navigate which is why you need to be there for them. Let your teen know that there are always services to support them if they need them, and that you can get treatment online for some things if needed.
Keep It Consistent
You should always try to keep it consistent when talking to your teens.
Try to keep the advice that you give consistent when they ask, and make sure that you are keeping it in line as much as you can with the advice they would get from professionals. You need to make sure that whatever you say to them you believe to be the right thing. Keep in mind that the most important thing is that they are happy and content with the way they live their life.
They’re not looking for a lecture when they come to you about their health, they want help. For example, if they come to you when there is nothing wrong, and you give them some advice in a calm and collected tone, make sure the same applies when something is up with them.
It’s hard enough to discuss things like this without you making it more difficult for them.
Let Them Come To You Sometimes
You do not always have to approach your teen to talk to them about their health.
There are occasions where they are going to come to you, and you need to embrace these times. Even if you are busy, remember that they are the most important part of your life, and if you shut them down now, they may never try to come and discuss things with you again. Having them come to talk to you is a fantastic feeling as it means they trust you enough to discuss their health with you.
It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but trust us when we say that it is huge.
Be Open And Honest
The final thing that we are going to say is that you must always be open and honest with your teen. It might be hard sometimes, especially if you have to talk about your past relating to health which can be challenging. However, sometimes this is needed to make them understand the importance of some things, and it also helps them to see you as more of a person and not just a parent.
Often, kids and teens tend to see their parents as some kind of superhero, and that’s fantastic because there are times where we have to be. However, you are also a person and they need to see that side of you as well.
If your teen asks you a question, ensure that you answer it as best you can. If you don’t know something, never be afraid to say that you aren’t sure. You can always look online or speak to a professional together to get the answer so give them this option.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the ways that you can go about talking to your teens about their health.
It might not be the easiest conversation to have with your teens, especially seeing as sometimes they tend to shy away from talking to their parents. The most important thing that you can do is make sure that they know you are there for them and they can always come to you. Good luck!