Teen Dangers: Of all life’s stages, the one parents dread most are usually the teenage years. For many, these years are like the terrible twos with how much is changing and developing in their kids. Parents are often at odds with a teenager’s irrational behavior, raging hormones, and desire for acceptance among their peers. Because these years can be incredibly challenging, there are a few steps you must take to help navigate your teen through this awkward phase without building a permanent record. Consider these four tips to help keep kids out of trouble.
A popular proverb says, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Essentially, when you have no plan or activity to keep you busy, it becomes a prime opportunity to get yourself in trouble. This is true for young kids as well as teenagers. The best way to avoid this issue is by filling up free time with lots of different extracurricular activities. Most teens are required to get a certain amount of community service hours in school or for a resume. This is a great chance to give back and help people who are less fortunate. Sports, art, dance, and tutoring are also excellent activities to sign a teenager up for to help enhance their minds and bodies. They will also have lots of fun!
Ghandi famously charged the human race to “be the change you want to see.” It is important for teenagers to see their parents as positive role models especially because they’re so impressionable and can easily give in to negative peer pressure. Parents are the first point of reference for moral standards and values. Because you stand in such a strong position of moral authority, it is important to reinforce this with other positive mentors in a teenager’s life. Find people who are following a positive path and allow your teen to get in their presence and see their example.
Education is key for any area in life and comes in many forms as well. It doesn’t just have to be in a classroom setting. Reading books and talking to people with experience is important. During these years, many are introduced and are given the opportunity to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Educate them on the dangers by allowing them to sit down and speak with a drug or DUI lawyer like Jerry Lee Webb. This is a great professional to consider because they are well-acquainted with the dangerous path these choices can lead to, and can help show what comes of negative choices.
Implementing these three tips against teen dangers will involve a little creativity and might require you to build up a network of supporters. The effort it takes is well worth it though. For both the parent and the teenager to make it out of these years successfully, call for reinforcement. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.