Adolescence is a hard time for everyone in a family. Your teen has to deal with a lot of physical and emotional changes, sometimes in a hostile school environment, while you have to adjust to a change in your relationship as your child is no longer a little kid. 

Due to these drastic changes, many teens can suffer from a huge amount of anxiety and low self-esteem, which can be made worse if you find that you are arguing more frequently. It is therefore important that you reinforce just how important they are to your family and how much they are loved. Here is how you can let your teen know that they are truly special to you.

If your teen has a birthday coming up, you no doubt want to surprise them with a special gift. However, it can become increasingly difficult to find the right gifts for teens as your children get older. Consider whether your child has any hobbies. For instance, a new pair of track shoes would be ideal for an athletic teen; or a makeup kit for a teen girl who is just getting into makeup. Alternatively, some memorabilia from a beloved film or band would make a great gift, a Harry Potter gift trunk personalized to your child’s Hogwarts house, for example. 

Pass on a family heirloom
You might have a special family heirloom that you have been waiting to pass on to your child when they are older. Now as they approach adulthood, it might be the right time and the heirloom could act as a loving connection to generations of their family. Heirlooms can be almost anything that has a special meaning tied to it. Special pieces of jewelry or military medals are great heirloom pieces, and photographs and family cookbooks can really connect your teen to past generations. 

Encourage them to talk
Adolescence can be a traumatic time for some teens. Physiological and emotional changes often cause mood swings that they do not understand, and all this can be exacerbated by pressures at school from exams and bullying. As a consequence, your teen might struggle to deal with this and become more withdrawn, perhaps even developing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Encourage your child to talk by having an open attitude towards discussing feelings and mental health at home. Your teen will feel more supported and able to ask for help when they are struggling. 

Spend time with them
Although adolescence can often seem like a constant search for independence, your teen will also appreciate the security of spending time in a close family setting. Make the most of any time spent together by doing fun family bonding activities. For instance, you could keep it old school and get competitive over board games like Monopoly, or perhaps organize a film night on the sofa watching your teen’s favorite childhood movies, complete with a delicious bowl of hot buttered popcorn.