*My daughter received complimentary Invisalign® treatment, due to my collaboration with the brand, but all opinions are my own.

Being a parent is hard, however parenting during the transition of the teen years is a whole new level. There are so many joyous moments such as watching your children grow and mature into young adults and there are also some tougher times as you say goodbye to the innocence of the elementary school years and hello to the drama of the pre-teen and teen years. I have a few key items that really helped me navigate this process with my daughter more smoothly.

Fixing Orthodontic Issues

There are many tips, techniques, products and services I recommend to parents to help sail through the teen years more smoothly as they really help both you and your teen. By far one of the greatest tips to help my daughter is using Invisalign® clear aligners to help correct her smile. She had a dramatic physical and emotional transformation when she switched from traditional braces to Invisalign clear aligners, which are proven to fix simple to complex cases. Seeing her with the brackets and wires gone brought me to tears as she was beaming “feeling like herself again.”

Selfishly, I love going to the orthodontist around once every 8 weeks instead of every other week and never hear a peep or have an issue in between appointments. I tell parents you cannot put a value on getting that much time back, reducing the stress for both of us and eating the food she wants. And most of all, since the Invisalign aligners are nearly transparent, teens can fix their teeth while still looking like themselves. There is no reveal that might occur when going to school or arriving at functions where another teen notices the difference. It’s a subtle change helping teens feel more secure in how they present socially. If you’re interested in finding an Invisalign-trained orthodontist in your area, click here to start your teen’s journey.

Improving Skin Issues

Another huge lifesaver was the Neutrogena light mask. When teens start to get acne, the trips to the dermatologist and pharmacy increase while you’re stressfully trying to solve pimples from erupting while just having bought the newest cream to solve another facial area. Neutrogena has such a great product because  the blue light from the mask decreases acne dramatically by killing the bacteria before it even forms into a pimple. In one week, the stress decreased and the happiness increased and there was less drama as well as clear skin.

Another amazing investment is in chemical-free beauty products. I had no idea as a mom and a parenting expert how unregulated the beauty and skincare industry were in the US. As teens mature they get more social and want to look their best so both boys and girls are having their parents buy tons of washes, toners, and creams as well as Beautycounter makeup and hair products. After reading scary accounts of the amounts of chemicals in these products and the harm they could do to a developing body, I immediately switched over to Beauty Counter products as they ban 1500 of the most harmful ingredients. Reading this not only allowed me to feel much better knowing which makeup or moisturizer was safe, but it was such a helpful product to pass on to my clients. A teenager’s skin is their biggest organ, and as a parent you want to make sure whatever you are buying for them has the safest ingredients possible.

Device Use

Last, battling with teens over use of their devices can be a long hard fight. Setting rules for how they can use them, what they can text or share is important. I also suggest using one of the amazing apps to monitor their usage and privacy.

There are so many helpful apps out there such as Screen Time to manage their time, Bark to protect them and apps that you can both use and enjoy like Netflix and Ted talks together choosing what is and is not acceptable programming. From allowing my daughter to watch a medical drama, she developed an insatiable curiosity for medicine. She now watches Ted Ed talks on the teen brain and developed a love of documentaries on neuroscience. Who knew that sometimes these devices can–if directed in the right manner–be used for such an incredible good and productive manner.

Though filled with highs and lows the teenage years can be a struggle, but studies tell us this is when our kids need us the most. It will not always be easy, but staying connected to them, helping them solve teen problems and standing by them is one of the greatest gifts we can give them as they become a young adult.