Behavior and Daily Routines for Your 14-Year-Old

Healthy Habits to Encourage at Age 14

Make sure your expectations of your 14-year-old are appropriate.
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By age 14, teens are slowly developing lifelong habits that they will carry with them into adulthood. This is an important time to encourage building a healthy lifestyle.

The habits your teen forms now could affect the rest of his future. Here are essential tips for helping your 14-year-old set herself up for future success in all aspects of her life. 

Your Teen's Diet

The 14-year-old is starting high school and will be making more and more of his own food choices. Breakfast can be hit or miss, depending on if your teen is getting out of bed early enough to eat before school. Here are a few tips to get your teen some healthy nutrition during a regular day:

  • Offer grab and go breakfasts, like smoothies or fruit.
  • Keep filling and nutritious after-school snacks that they enjoy eating available.
  • Start dinner with a salad, even if you are offering another vegetable during the meal.

Keep the focus on health, instead of weight. Discuss the importance of fueling his body and brain.

Your Teen's Sleep Schedule

Teens often like to go to bed late at night, sometimes because they find themselves unable to sleep. If your 14-year-old is having problems getting to sleep at night, here are some suggestions of things you can do to help:

  • Talk to your teen about her nightly routine. Discuss the importance of giving herself time to unwind before she goes to bed.
  • Encourage your teen to get a good night's sleep by unplugging from electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Encourage her to read a book before falling asleep. Don't allow her to sleep with a smartphone in her bedroom.
  • Discourage her from taking naps after school as this can interfere with her night time sleep.
  • Keep your teen's sleep schedule the same on weekends. If she sleeps until noon or stays up all hours of the night, she'll disrupt her biological clock. Establish a wake-up time on non-school days and enforce it. 

Encourage After School Activities

High school is full of clubs and sports teams that encourage fitness. Talk to your teen about joining activities that will challenge his mind and body.

If your teen doesn't enjoy traditional sports, look for alternative activities that promote physical activity in a way she is more likely to enjoy. Yoga classes, dance class, or a walking club might provide opportunities to keep her moving in a less competitive environment. 

Establishing Routines and Responsibilities for Your Teen

Most 14-year-olds are experiencing tremendous physical, social, and emotional changes. For many teens, those changes can be quite stressful. Teach your teen healthy ways to manage her stress. Encourage her to challenge herself and be on the lookout for self-esteem issues. 

Establish clear rules and assign your 14-year-old chores. Having more responsibility will help him become more secure in who he is and his ability to handle the adult world.