13 essential things parents need to tell their 13-year-old children | #parenting

Thirteen essential things various professionals want parents to tell their children as they enter their teens.

1. Teenage years can be shite and brilliant – often at the same time

Enjoy its craziness if you can and learn to love and be loved. By people who matter. To you. – Consultant paediatric psychiatrist Dr Kieran Moore

2. If you are ever in any sort of pain – physical and/or mental – don’t ignore it

Your body and mind are telling you there’s something wrong. Get help. Learn how to treat the pain. One day you will understand and the pain will go or you will manage it and by definition live YOUR life. – Dr Moore

3. Listen to yourself

Listen to your brain when it tells you you’re stressed. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it’s tired, or hurt. Listen to yourself when things make you happy so you know to keep them around, and listen to the things that make you sad so you know how to leave them behind. Listen to yourself, and I promise I will listen to you too. – Fantasy author Dave Rudden, whose childhood experiences of bullying and anxiety motivated him to write for teens

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Just be the best you can be. Don’t model yourself on some perfected image you have seen on social media where the photos have been not just filtered, but manipulated beyond reality. And certainly, don’t measure success by how many “likes” someone gets for posting a selfie or any other indicator of online popularity. It’s real life that counts. – Parentline CEO Aileen Hickie

5. Be true to your unique self

You can never be who you are not. Learning what you value is an important part of finding meaning in life. Embrace change as an essential part of life’s journey and don’t be afraid to love because that’s what gives our lives such richness. – Clinical psychologist and CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Paul Gilligan

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