Change can be difficult for anyone, but especially for children and teenagers. When teenagers have to adjust to a change in their health circumstances, it can be hard for them to handle.
Having to deal with an illness or another change to their health can disrupt their life, and can make them feel out of control. They might feel like they can’t have a normal teenage life or like their life is ruled by their health. If your teen receives big news about their health and has to make some changes, you can help them to adjust in a few ways.
You can find yourselves thrown into a whole new world when your teen is diagnosed with an issue that affects their health or the way they live their life. One of the first things you can do to help your teen and yourself is to learn about what you’re facing. Learning about their diagnosis and how to live with it can make it easier for both of you to navigate things.
It will give your teen an understanding of what’s happening and show that you’re also willing to educate yourself. You can be more understanding and provide help, even if you can’t entirely understand what they’re going through.
For many teenagers, being able to use something they’re familiar with to navigate a big change in their life can make it easier. Teenagers are often very tuned into technology and using tech could help some teens and preteens feel more comfortable and adjust to big changes.
A teen who has been diagnosed with hearing loss might feel more comfortable with smartphone hearing aids that allow them to use a range of apps and functions. A teen with diabetes might like to try a continuous glucose monitor that they can connect to an app on their phone.
Validate Their Feelings
Your teen might be feeling a lot of things that are hard to deal with. They might be sad or angry or could be irritable. Mood swings are common in teenagers anyway, and having to deal with a big change in their life can make things even worse.
One of the most important things you can do is to allow them to feel what they feel and validate their feelings. That doesn’t mean you have to let them behave however they want, but you can help them to process their emotions and perhaps talk to someone neutral.
Give Them Control
No one really likes feeling out of control. But when dealing with a health issue or disability, it’s very easy to feel like you don’t have control over your life. Helping your teen to gain control over their life can help them to adjust.
Help them work out what they can have control over so that the things they can’t control are easier to live with. Let them make choices about how to manage their health and do other things too.
Dealing with a big health change can be tricky but you can help you teen to adjust and find a new normal.