8 Tips to Teach Time Management Skills to Your Teen

tips to teach time management skills to your teen

Does your teenager wait until the last possible moment to complete their high school English essay or math homework? High schoolers that don’t learn to manage their time well may end up as lifelong procrastinators. While handing in late homework with excuses to a lenient teacher might just get your teen a reprimand, future college professors and employers may not be so forgiving. And constantly rushing to get things done with only hours before the deadline can result in shoddy work, lack of sleep, and high stress levels.

What are the Benefits of Good Time Management for Teens?

Your adolescent may think the high school years are the busiest time in their life; they have no idea that the adult world can be even more hectic. So, it’s worthwhile to try to teach them how to manage their time more effectively now. The following are some benefits of good time management for teens.

  • Reduced stress and anxiety when exam dates are coming up or projects are due.
  • Better scholastic performance.
  • Improved decision-making skills.
  • Increased feelings of independence and responsibility.
  • More available time for relaxing with friends and family.

How Can I Teach my Teen Effective Time Management?

Your goal should be to encourage your adolescent to manage their time wisely without constant reminders from you to get the work done. Here are eight steps you can consider taking to teach them essential time management skills.

  1. Set a good example: If you’re always missing your own work deadlines or constantly running late, your teenager will get the impression that this is ok.
  2. Provide tools: Help your adolescent find the time management tools that work best for them, whether it’s a planner to write in or an app on their laptop.
  3. Teach prioritization: Encourage them to create a schedule that prioritizes what needs to be done.
  4. Help to solve conflicts: It’s common for high schoolers to have conflicting activities. A swim meet, a birthday party, or a church activity may all coincide. Sit down with them and talk about how to prioritize activities based on values and commitments.
  5. Encourage routines: Try getting your teen to establish healthy habits like doing their chores as soon as they arrive home from school. Once a routine is set into place, they won’t have to waste time thinking about what to do next.
  6. Avoid nagging: Although it may be tempting to keep reminding your teen about doing their homework or chores, if you overdo it, you are reducing their sense of responsibility.
  7. Set expectations: Come up with sensible, clear guidelines about the way you expect your adolescent to manage their time and follow through with consequences when necessary.
  8. Don’t forget about free time: Your teen’s schedule should not be so crowded with tasks that they have no time for some relaxation and fun.

Remember: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

Don’t expect your teenager to develop perfect time management skills overnight. There will be a learning curve and times when they will forget a deadline or miscalculate how long a project will take. Be patient, and, over time, you are sure to see results.

Impediments to Successful Time Management

If your teen has a problem that makes good time management too difficult or impossible, you need address the underlying issue first. Adolescents can have a variety of issues that will interfere with successful time management – substance abuse, depression, mood disorders, and attention deficit syndrome, to name a few. So, if your teen is struggling with one of the above and you live in or near Phoenix, schedule some time with Doorways for a free consultation to see how we can help them get their time management on track.

How Crafting Can Help Your Teen

In 1994, the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) “crafted” the wonderful month called Craft Month. CHA has since changed its name to the Association For Creative Industries (AFCI). AFCI is committed to an overarching vision of enriching people’s lives through crafting and other creative activities. Since its very humble beginnings, craft month (March) has grown into a joyous international celebration by millions of craft enthusiasts who love “getting their craft on.”

Benefits of Crafting for Teens

Little kids love getting messy and making something fun. But, there’s no reason to stop being creative at the age of thirteen. Teens and young adults benefit from crafting in the following ways.

  • Helps to Create a Positive Identity – The sense of self is enhanced by the personal process of creating something.
  • Soothes Teenage Angst – Crafts can serve as mental yoga and provide teens with an activity that is mindful and calming.
  • Brings Imagination to the Fore – Crafts encourage teens to explore different creative ideas.
  • Develops Focus – To succeed at a craft requires strong focus and attention to detail.
  • Builds Confidence – Seeing a craft through from beginning to end provides a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • Encourages Perseverance – A craft can be difficult to learn and delivers a healthy challenge to a teen.

Help Your Teen to Find Crafting Outlets

Unfortunately, arts and crafts programs are being eliminated or downsized in many schools. When young adults get to high school, they may only need one arts credit in order to graduate. Apart from pursuing a craft at home, students can often find interesting crafts programs at their local library. Take a look at what programs The American Library Association suggests libraries get involved with. Check out the libraries near you or talk to your library about setting up a crafts itinerary. Click here for a list of Arizona public libraries offering crafts programs. As well as your local library, there may be a summer camp with interesting arts and crafts programs.

Pottery Classes

Many teens enjoy pottery classes. Pottery involves more than just mixing clay, water, and other additives. It’s a craft that provides teens and young adults with a creative, relaxing outlet to make something unique. They can mold clay with just their hands, or learn to “throw” a pot or a bowl using a wheel. The resulting creation can be glazed and baked in a kiln. Check out the area where you live for pottery programs designed for teens and young adults. Here’s some help on finding pottery classes in the Phoenix area.

How do I Get My Teen Interested in a Craft?

Taking up a craft can enrich a teenager’s life. However, as I’m sure you know, it’s impossible to force a teen into a hobby. So, use some insight and gentle guidance to help your teen explore the idea of crafting and find the craft that most excites them. Asking a teen “what would you like to do?” is too vague and broad. Bring up the subject of crafting, ask your teen to think about it, and then bring the question up again later.

Don’t Turn Your Teen Off to the Idea of Crafting

Try not to go from being insightful and helpful to suffocating and nagging. Mention possible enjoyable activities, but don’t succumb to harping on them constantly. Most teens resent being pushed into things, so it may take some finesse to coax an adolescent into pursuing a craft you think they will enjoy. You could try passing along online suggestions like this one.

Be Supportive

Once a teen has expressed an interest in a craft, give them your full support and provide them with any necessary materials. If the teen needs space at home to pursue the craft, make sure there’s an area in your house where they can be creative. And, never chastise them for making a mess.

Do You Have a Teen with Issues?

We hope that your teen is involved in an engaging hobby of some sort. However, if your teen is suffering from a problem that you find difficult to cope with, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get them involved with a craft. Whatever the issue, Doorways is here to help you and your teen or young adult. We specialize in services for those aged 13-25 in the Phoenix area. Arrange a consultation with us to see how we can help you.

Healthy Eating Habits for Middle Schoolers

As your middle schooler grows and develops, you may notice they start to eat a lot more. Their body is growing and additional food fuels this growth spurt.

However, you may also notice that their eating habits start to shift. Perhaps they begin to shy away from fruits and veggies in favor of more sugar-filled, packaged foods. Whether your middle schooler is mirroring the food habits of classmates or simply wants to spend their allowance on junk food, you may start to feel like the food values you worked hard to instill during childhood have flown out the window. But there are steps you can take to help guide your pre-teen towards healthy eating habits.

Be their healthy eating role model.

The best way to reinforce your middle schooler’s healthy eating habits is to show them that healthy eating is important to you. There are many ways to do this. Eat breakfast each morning and choose the healthier option when out at a restaurant. Bring your middle schooler along on weekly grocery trips.

Most importantly, make time to enjoy healthy meals with each other as a family. This is one of the best and easiest ways to, not only model healthy habits but to also increase your child’s overall enjoyment of food. Bonus: You get to spend quality time together as a family, catching up on the events of the day.

Create an environment that encourages healthy eating.

It is much easier for your middle schooler to make good food choices if your family’s home encourages healthy eating.

So, how can you do this?

  • Ask your middle schooler to assist with the food shopping and weekly menu planning.
  • Motivate them to take ownership of one family meal each week — from planning to serving!
  • Limit the unhealthy options available in the house and make healthy options easily accessible. For example, keep fresh fruit out on the counter, chopped vegetables in the fridge, and plenty of healthy snacks in the cupboard.
  • Cook with them. You can teach them how to make their favorite dishes right at home or enroll them in a cooking class. There are a variety of great cooking classes available right here in the Phoenix area —

Initiate a food dialogue.

The way you talk to your pre-teen about food can have a big impact on their eating habits. Try highlighting the positive effects of healthy eating, rather than speaking to the negative impacts inherent in an unhealthy diet.

Here are some ideas to get you started –

  • As motivation for healthy eating, talk to your middle schooler about how food directly impacts concentration, success in school, athletic ability, and mental wellbeing. Pre-teens and teenagers can have trouble conceptualizing the long-term health risks of unhealthy eating. However, knowing the impact these choices can have on their present lives may prove more meaningful.
  • Encourage your middle schooler to eat when they’re hungry (remember: growth spurts) but to stop when they’re full. Over time, your middle schooler will begin to recognize the difference between eating out of hunger and eating from boredom or fatigue.
  • Steer clear of restricting foods or labeling them as “good” and “bad.” Alternatively, try to aim for a balance. Eat healthy foods the majority of the time and have a treat every now and again.

If you need help with your middle schooler’s nutrition or you’re concerned about their eating habits, the staff at Doorways is here to help. If you are interested in how our services may benefit your family in the Phoenix metro area, give us a call today.

National Compliment Day: 10 Ways to Compliment Teens

Compliments are a superb way to bring cheer to someone’s day or commend a good job. Today, give an extra compliment (or two!) in honor of National Compliment Day, observed each year on January 24th.

Debby Hoffman and Kathy Chamberlin created National Compliment Day in 1998. They wanted a special day to honor the simple act of letting those in our lives know that we love and appreciate them. With this in mind, we thought we’d share a few ways to share praise, grace, and love with your teenagers.

10 Ways to Compliment Teens

  1. Compliment character. Sometimes it appears sincerity and morality are characteristics not often taught in our world. And not always commended when showcased. When your teenager displays integrity, consideration, trustworthiness, and reliability, offer them a sincere compliment.

  2. Compliment their friends. When you feel as though your teen has made a connection with someone you deem laudable or a great influence, let them know.
    Your friends are so wonderful!”
    Jennifer is so thoughtful.”
    It makes me so happy to know that you choose your friends well.”

  1. Compliment respect. It is easy to make disapproval second nature, to only notice your teen’s behavior when they go wrong. However, we would encourage you to stop waiting for disrespectful behavior and try acknowledging respectful behavior.
    I don’t tell you this enough, but you are a wonderful person, and I value the way you respect your father and me.”

  1. Compliment a step in the right direction. Holding out for the end goal before we offer up a compliment isn’t good enough, might cause your teenager to lose sight of a positive outcome, and doesn’t reward growth.
    “Stephanie, the steps you’ve made toward your goal are great. Thank you for all your hard work!”

  2. Appreciate their place in your family. Sometimes teens, with all their fluctuating emotions, need to know how much they are valued for simply existing.
    “Whenever I see you, I’m grateful that I get to be your parent.”

  3. Compliment their style. You can offer a compliment about your teenager’s style even if their taste is vastly different from your own. Your child is his or her own person and you wouldn’t want them to be a carbon copy of their mom or dad. Try not to limit your compliments to the restricted scope of your own taste.
    “You sure have a gift for styling hair!”
    “I can tell that you put a lot of creativity into your outfit.”
    “I love how imaginative your room decor looks.”

  4. Compliment household chores. Your teenager needs to understand that when they chip in with household chores they make a difference and their parents notice the extra effort.
    “Vacuuming the living room/mowing the lawn/doing the dishes really makes a difference. I am so grateful for your hard work around our house!”

  5. Compliment new achievements. A well-timed compliment can keep a teen’s trajectory moving forward. It’s important to compliment your child’s progress, as discussed above, but don’t forget to pay them some credit when they achieve something they’ve never been able to do before.
    “Great job! Although I’m not surprised after all your hard work. I knew you could do it, Derrick!”
    “You got your social studies grade up to an A! I’m beyond proud of you.”

  6. Compliment effort. What about when your teenager’s best efforts come up short? Compliment their effort and remind them there’s still work to be done–and you know they’re up to the task.
    “All the studying you’ve done for your social studies class makes me so happy! If you keep it up I know you can bring your grade up.”

  7. Compliment a job well done. When your teen exceeds expectations and goes out of their way to do a great job it is always worth noting. Compliment the quality of your child’s work so they know the extra effort didn’t go unnoticed.
    “This is the cleanest I’ve ever seen your room, Shelby!”
    “I was so proud of you at your dance recital. Awesome job! I’m so glad you are so passionate about dance, it really shows.”

Are you having trouble balancing criticism and compliments when communicating with your teenager? If so, meeting with the expert staff at Doorways may be a positive step for you and your family. If you have questions, feel free to contact us HERE or give us a call at 602-997-2880.

6 Tips to Help Your Distracted Teen

Is your teen having trouble focusing? These straightforward tips will help a teen who finds themselves preoccupied, lacking concentration, or has trouble staying on task when it comes to school work. Our world is ever more distracting and giving teenagers the tools to combat inattentiveness will serve them well for years to come.

  1. Maintain a peaceful environment at home. A peaceful home environment means not lashing out when your teen talks back or doesn’t immediately calm down and tuck into homework. As a parent, you may get angry at your teen at times–upsetting that peaceful environment. When this occurs, just say you’re sorry for the outburst, remind your teen that you love them, and explain why you are frustrated with them.
  2. Find an outlet for your teen’s energy. If your teen is especially hyperactive, they may need additional activities in which to channel this extra energy. There is a myriad of extracurricular activities available for teens, many they can easily sign up for through their school. Consider a sport, scouts, or another activity with plenty of outdoor time.
  3. Cut down on media distractions. It can be difficult for teens with attention problems to filter out extra noise when they’re attempting to concentrate. Keeping the television on in the next room can limit your teen’s capacity to complete homework, so turn it off when you aren’t watching. When possible, find ways to reduce screen time. Perhaps set a rule that they can only play video games after dinner or they must turn their cell phone to airplane mode between the hours of 4:00-6:00 pm.
  4. Make sure your teen knows the rules and enforce them. To make sure parents and teens are on the same page, talk openly about rules and standards. Whether this is the type of grades you’d like them to maintain, a designated homework time or the media rules discussed in the tip above; your teen should know what you expect of them, and what the consequences will be if they don’t follow rules or meet standards.
  5. Offer organizational strategies. Encourage your teen to approach large school assignments by breaking them down into “chunks.” This will help them view bigger tasks as a series of manageable smaller tasks. Teens who are prone to distraction will begin to feel motivated by their small successes. Moreover, keeping a checklist or to-do list is a great habit for distracted teens. The simple act of crossing something off a list will reinforce productive behavior.
  6. Build up your teen’s self-esteem. Teens who have problems focusing often feel like they’re in trouble or not as good as their peers. Let your teen know that you believe in them. Share that you know they are capable and that they can do anything they set their mind to.

If you are having difficulty helping your distracted teen to focus, and their school work is suffering, consider seeking the help of a professional who specializes in working with teens. At Doorways, we are leading experts in counseling for teens and young adults and employ experts in the treatment of ADD/ADHD.

5 Tips for Raising Strong Teen Girls

How do you raise a teen girl to be strong? What does that mean?

While physical strength is important, we’re talking about strength in character, self-worth, and spirit. Strong teen girls take action to make the right decisions when faced with difficult choices, they help others when called upon. Strong teen girls think about the world around them and acknowledge the feelings of others. Strong teen girls exhibit positive self-esteem and a positive attitude when faced with life’s tough tasks. As any teenager might, strong teen girls face moments of doubt and insecurity, but they know how to come out on top. Strong teen girls have the tools to enter adulthood and lead a wonderful, happy life.

Sounds ideal, right?

Here are our top tips for raising a strong teen:

  1. Allow her to make life choices when possible. When you see fit, allow your teen to make decisions about her life. This can be as simple as allowing her to choose what she wears or what she packs in her school lunches. What may seem like insignificant choices can go a long way in helping her develop skills for independence later in life. You can also offer choices to help her feel like she has a voice when it comes to her life and her future. Involve her when it comes to selecting extracurriculars. She may choose to abandon years of ballet classes to pursue French lessons, but trying new things will allow her to identify what she truly loves to do.

Resource: Help Your Children Become Good Decision Makers by Dr. Jim Taylor

  1. Guide her towards solutions instead of immediately fixing the problem. As parents, we may see situations where we want to take the reins and solve our teen’s problem for her. However, we would encourage you to take a different approach when you can. To help your teen develop the problem-solving skills necessary to approach these types of situations, instead offer her choices. Present three strategies or possible paths to solutions. Then, discuss with your daughter how she would implement each and what the result may be. Let her take it from there. She can carry out the solution she feels fits best. And because of your gentle guidance you know it’s one that will work for both of you.

  2. Encourage her to participate in activities with other strong teen girls. Girls who work cooperatively to reach a common goal report feelings of achievement, capability, and a huge boost in self-confidence. Offer your teen opportunities, through organizations or teams, to engage in teamwork with others. This will help her to learn important problem-solving skills, face challenges, and work well with others.

Resource: Fun Activites for Teenagers by Tara Kunesh, M.Ed.

  1. Talk to her about bullying. Talk with your teen about the negative side of friendships — gossip, spreading rumors, and exclusivity — as well as physical violence. When your teen encounters exclusion or cliques, refrain from brushing it off as “mean girls” or attempting to reassure her with the quip that “girls will be girls.” Instead, bring up the strong characteristics inherent of female friendship and use personal examples when possible. Discuss ways your teen girl can effect positive change in her relationships.

  2. Listen to her when she discusses her feelings. What we experience as a conversation with our child, they might experience as a lecture. When our teens feel as though we are talking at them, they could not only choose to stop listening, but also stop working through the issue themselves – shutting down completely. However, when we choose to listen more than we talk, our teens continue to reflect and think. This open dialogue is tantamount to raising strong teens. Dismissing their feelings on one issue and expecting them to open up about another won’t work. Keep the lines of communication flowing.

Resource: Talking With Teens – Tips for Better Communication by Neil Osterweil

If you are raising a teen girl, and feel your daughter is struggling or is expressing low self-worth, speaking to a teen counselor at Doorways could be the right step for your family. If you have questions, feel free to contact us HERE or give us a call at 602-997-2880.

5 Ways to Teach Your Middle Schooler How to Handle Their Emotions

Offering your child skills and strategies for handling emotions is a crucial undertaking for any parent. Verbalizing emotions can be tricky. Coping with the negative effects of emotions is hard. Especially for kids in middle school! Middle schoolers who struggle with these skills will often place blame on an outside source for how they feel, act out when emotions get the better of them, or find it difficult to self-soothe. And without learning how to manage emotions early in life, these issues can carry on into adulthood.

Luckily, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Child Development, these skills can be taught. The study reviewed research on social-emotional skills of over 200 thousand students from kindergarten to 12th grade and found learning social-emotional skills increased attitudes toward school, social behavior, and grades. Teaching the students emotion management also decreased their likelihood of getting in trouble and emotional problems.

Below, we explain 5 ways to help you practice the principles of emotion management with your children in middle school –

  1. Ask questions. When your pre-teen/adolescent is exhibiting negative or uncomfortable feelings, stay curious! Ask them to tell you about their feelings. Instead of saying, “You have nothing to be upset about,” ask “I notice you’re acting upset, want to tell me about it?” While your intentions for brushing off their emotions as inconsequential may be to make them feel better faster, to your child it might feel like they’ve received a scolding simply for feeling down.

  2. Teach that emotions come and go. Emotions come and go and it’s important for your middle schooler to understand the way they are feeling isn’t permanent. There are a ton of metaphors you can use when discussing the fleeting nature of negative emotions — weather, seasons, the rising of the sun and the waxing and waning of the moon. You can respect your child’s feelings in the present while also reminding them that it’s not forever.

  3. Talk about feelings every day. Every day, spend some time going over the good and bad feelings you both felt throughout your day. When did you feel “happy,” “grateful,” “proud”? When did your child feel “frustrated,” “angry,” “disappointed”? The focus here is less about the details of your days but more about the feelings themselves. This not only helps kids learn about verbalizing their emotions but helps to normalize the range of feelings we, as humans, experience every day. Mom and Dad feel frustrated sometimes, too.

  4. Create a list. Sit with your middle school student and help them make a list of all the things they could do when they’re feeling negative emotions. If they’re having trouble, bring up past conversations from the tip above! Ask, “Yesterday, you talked about being angry. What would make you feel better when you’re angry?” Their list could include writing in a journal, playing outside, listening to music, drawing, talking to a friend or family member, writing a letter, the possibilities are plenty. Now, post the list so they can access it next time they’re feeling negative emotions.

  5. Rate feelings. When your teen is expressing negative emotions, and they’re unable to self-soothe, spend some time with them. Ask them to rate their feeling on a scale from 1 to 10 and then hang out. Spend some time doing something positive that your child enjoys (see their list for ideas!) or just go outside and get some exercise. Then, after a little quality time, ask them to rate their emotion one more time. Congratulate them when their number has lowered.

If your pre-teen is struggling with emotion management, and you feel as though you are struggling to help them, offer yourself grace. There are always more chances to teach them. If you feel you approached the subject poorly in the past, apologize and show yourself forgiveness, too. After all, how you handle your own emotions will most likely be your children’s most important example.

For more strategies regarding your child’s emotion management, contact the licensed professionals at Doorways for information about family counseling. Our team can help families learn how to communicate with each other in a caring, nonjudgmental environment. We teach families how to resolve conflict, show love, improve communication and more.

How to Be a Dad

Type in “how to be a dad” into Google and you will see more than 61 million results! With today’s technology, many fathers are turning to the web to find guidance, advice, or sharing their own struggles with parenthood.

How to be a Dad

Today’s fathers are different than previous generations. One of those key differences is that today’s fathers are much more involved in parenting than previous generations. Additionally, they have a more open relationship with their children and are more likely to seek advice from multiple sources.

One of the most popular YouTube channels is “How to Dad”. After a quick Facebook video showing one of his buddies how to hold a baby quickly went viral, the creator, Jordan Watson, started the channel. “How to Dad” has grown to an audience of nearly 2 million viewers. Jordan is now trying his hand at a more traditional route of reaching out to dads and is writing a book about “how to dad” as well.

There are also organizations that can be found online that support fathers such as the nonprofit “Organization for Dads” that is dedicated to encouraging and supporting fathers, children, and families through a variety of workshops, lectures, activities, and events.

Along with the struggles of being a parent comes the humor. Sometimes reading a playful blog will help a new parent see they are not alone in the craziness that is being a new father. A popular blog is “HowToBeADad” which introduces their website with “If you were looking for a website telling you how to be a dad… You didn’t find it. We aren’t experts in “dadology.” We aren’t even sure such a thing exists. We’re just here to tell you that being a parent sometimes means experiencing things without an authority, letting love and humor get you through.”

Some of the more helpful websites include:


If cracking a book is more your style, here is some suggested reading:

  • Dad Time: Savoring the God-Given Moments of Fatherhood, by Max Lucado
  • 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad, Jay Payleitner
  • Dads and Sons, James Dobson
  • Grace Based Parenting, Tim Kimmel
  • The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Gary Chapman

Whether it’s surfing the web, watching videos, or reading a guide book, today’s fathers are ready to invest their time into becoming a great dad, which benefits us all.

While websites and blogs can be helpful, some children might need more hands-on guidance.

If you are a dad in the Phoenix area and have a have a middle schooler or high schooler that is struggling with issues such as social anxiety, ADD/ADHD, not having friends, or anger issues, there is help.  Check out our resource page, or contact one of our confidential, caring teen counselors.  We always offer a free consultation to dads (and moms) who need help with a troubled teen.  Just give us a call at 602-997-2880 today.

Is Exercise Good for Your Mental Health?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are a tremendous amount of benefits to exercising for adolescents including maintaining a healthy weight and the prevention of certain diseases later in life. Additionally, exercise provides better academic performance and the creation of a lifetime of healthy habits.

In addition to physical health benefits, adolescents who exercise also experience benefits to their mental health. Exercise can lead to lower rates of depression. These lower rates can be attributed to the fact that adolescents who exercise have a higher self-esteem which is linked to lower levels of depression. It is noted that this can be especially important for adolescent girls who tend to experience more depression than adolescent boys.


A recent publication by the Harvard Medical School evaluates a study that supports the idea that exercise is good for adolescent mental health. Particularly for those already receiving formal treatment. What they found was that for those adolescents the addition of exercise leads to a moderate improvement in their depression.


Based on the results, while exercise can help a depressed adolescent, it is not necessarily a substitute for more formal treatment. We should also note that this is referring to a healthy amount of exercise. During its Risky Business campaign, Mental Health America has discussed exercise extremes.


These extremes include those that don’t exercise enough and those that exercise too much. Let’s explore this as it relates to adolescents so parents can be aware of a healthy amount of exercise for their teens since we know that can positivity impact their mental health.


A person that does not exercise enough has an increased risk for certain physical health issues, but it can also contribute to depression and anxiety.


On the other extreme is someone who compulsively exercises. A compulsive exerciser or one that is addicted to exercising will miss out on obligations. If they do miss a workout, it can lead to feelings of guilt and/or sadness. Additionally, they may continue to exercise despite an injury or illness.


If your teen is not getting enough exercise, here are some ways to encourage them to begin an exercise program.


  • First, speak with your family doctor and make sure there are no special considerations to consider before beginning an exercise regimen.


  • Begin at a slow pace and gradually work up to more difficult activities.


  • Get someone like a friend or relative to join so that they can motivate and hold one another accountable.


If you have a teen that is a compulsive exerciser you can help them take control and get into a healthier workout regimen.


  • Change up workout routine to include less strenuous workouts or take days off from working out altogether.


  • Discuss healthy body types.


  • Make sure your teen is getting adequate nutrition from the food they are eating.


  • Don’t allow negative self-talk. For example, putting down their body type or thinking they are lazy.


  • Encourage a discussion about healthy exercise habits and ask your teen if they are struggling with what that is.


If your teen is struggling with either compulsive exercising or depression, know when to seek the help of a mental health professional.


Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families specializing in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.