When you work from home as a mom, it can difficult for your teenaged child to feel as though they ever have any alone time. It is hard enough to maintain effective communication with teens as they are going through their toughest developmental years yet.
It becomes much harder when they feel as though they don’t have a space of their own.
It is really important that your child always feel as though there is a space to call their own, but this becomes even more important when they are entering the age separating childhood and adulthood.
Their instinct is to seek out increased independence, while you still have a natural instinct (and duty) to keep them safe and secure.
The Work at Home Mom’s Guide to Reducing Stress in Teens
These two conflicting desires predispose you and your teen for clashes down the road.
A healthy home life is integral to the mental health of your teenager. An adolescent with an unstable or stressful home environment may be at risk for developing an anxiety disorder, which would require teen anxiety treatment down the line.
So what can a work at home mom do to keep her child feeling comfortable sharing the house without shelling out hundreds a month for independent office space to give her kid some room?
There are plenty of actionable tips that will keep your teen healthy and happy in the home without breaking your budget.
Give your Teen a Job
Stick with me on this one! I know what you must be thinking. As though giving your busy teenager something else on their plate is going to go over well.
Of course, if you demand the “job” be completed as a chore or a thankless burden, you are going to garner a bad reaction from your kid. How you ask your child is as important as what you ask.
When I recommend that you give your teenager a job, I mean something small that benefits the household while still giving them a stake in it.
However, you want to differentiate this job from other standard chores that you might ask of them. For instance, doing the dishes might be a chore, but taking the dog to the park for a good time playing fetch is a great idea for a “job” your teen has every week.
The idea here is to set your child up for success by giving them a small amount of responsibility and then praising them heavily for completing it.
In doing so, you are giving your children structure over the course of their week and a sense of accomplishment—both things that contribute greatly to the mental health of your teen.
Be Understanding of Changing Sleep Cycles
It is tempting to righteously tell a teenager that they should be going to bed at a more reasonable hour. If you have a teenager in the house, I’m sure you are well acquainted with the struggle that comes with getting them up in the morning.
But there seems to be mounting evidence that there are more factors at play than willpower alone when it comes to stirring your teen from sleep in the morning. Studies suggest that late rising children and teens perform better in school than their early riser counterparts.
So instead of taking the bait and hashing it out each and every morning when it comes time to get ready for school, try taking their feelings into account. After all, they are in the process of fighting biology!
This doesn’t mean I would suggest allowing your teen to skip first period every school day.
The key here is to be understanding and mitigate your expectations to reflect the reality of your young adult’s physiology. I have a feeling coming to terms with the futility of the situation will give you some relief, too!
Making the Home a Safe Place
As proud moms, we would all like to think that we are creating a safe and welcoming environment for our family and friends to share in when they are in our home.
Be mindful, however, that your teen is entering a new stage in their life where they are trying desperately to assert independence in a world they are also simultaneously realizing they have no power over.
One solution? Give that power back to them! Check-in regularly with your kids about what will make them feel more confident and relaxed in the home.
Ask how they would feel about burning soothing essential oils or incense in the shared living room. Invite them to a late morning meditation session with you on the weekends.
The key here is not pushing your child to open up about anything specific in their life.
Instead, you want to cultivate an overall aura about your home that relaxes your child to the point that they feel safe enough to share if they so choose.