As a parent who is struggling to cope with your teen’s unruly behavior, you might wonder if you can take proactive measures to deal with his attitude and actions. Instead of threatening, yelling or grounding, take another look at some activities that might engage his mind and encourage him in a positive direction. The following six tips offer a great starting point toward keeping his mind healthy.
Involve him in the arts – Creativity stimulates the brain in different ways than traditional learning. The two activities complement and strengthen each other so that teens who are involved in the arts will likely do better in school. Your teen can choose from various options, such as music, crafts, woodwork, art, coloring, painting or drawing or learning a foreign language.
Unplug and spend time in nature – A fast-paced society and constant attention to media mean that people, including teens, have little time to unwind. This begins the vicious cycle of stress at an early age, resulting in on-going negative effects on overall well-being. Science has shown the connection between quiet reflection through prayer and a healthy mind and immune system. Time spent away from the hectic pace of life can encourage this.
Participate in a sport or exercise – Parents typically think of school sports as the only option. Some boys might enjoy club sports instead or even prefer joining a gym for overall fitness. Working out stimulates blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved brain function.
Encourage him to exercise his mind – His body isn’t the only thing that needs daily exercise – his brain does, too. Mental challenges, word games, hobbies, puzzles, movies, and yes, even video games can all do wonders for his mental ability.
Pay attention to food – Sugar-laden desserts, processed food and fast food not only adds pounds to a teen’s body, but affects his brain and ability to focus. He needs to start to watch what he puts into his body so that he can properly fuel his brain as well. In addition, he should remember to drink water throughout the day to keep himself properly hydrated. Teens are notorious for rushing around in the morning and running out the door without eating breakfast. However, breakfast provides the brain with a kick start to the day and helps teens begin on the right foot. In addition to avoiding certain types of foods, your troubled teen can adopt further proactive measures by including additional nutrients in his diet. Some of the most powerful brain foods include Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts, flax seed and fish.
Work on your connection with your adolescent – Connecting with others helps boost overall health. When your teen habitually isolates, he is not only developing bad habits that will negatively affect him in future relationships, but he is adopting self-defeating behaviors that work against his own best interests in learning to interact with others.