How to Raise Well Adjusted Teens
It happens about once per week. I find myself driving past the local high school on my way to wherever it is I happen to be going. As I slowly pass the school (going no more than 20 MPH, of course) I can't help but reflect on how much different things appear to be now compared to when I was in high school.
Back when I was in high school...
|•||We didn't have cell phones or the internet. We used pay phones and the library.|
|•||We didn't dye our hair black and (apparently) avoid sunlight. We wore silly surfer shorts and took pride in our healthy tans.|
|•||We didn't worry about school shootings or propositions from promiscuous teachers. Those things were unheard of.|
|•||We weren't concerned with terrorism or war. Those were just things that happened in the Middle East.|
|•||On-line predators were basically non-existent because, well, so was the internet.|
|•||Musicians used to sing about having fun and being in love. Today the airwaves are full of references to crime and the mistreatment of women.|
|•||Drugs and pornography were only available to teens that sought them out. Today, those things are so readily available that children don't need to seek them out.|
|•||It used to be shocking if someone brought a gun to school. Today it is the norm in many schools.|
Yup, times have really changed. Teens have a lot to deal with these days -- as if there isn't already enough going on in their lives.
Parents need to be "on top of it" if they expect to raise happy, healthy, and well-adjusted teens.
Here are a few things that parents can do:
|1.||Keep the lines of communication open. Talk often.|
|2.||Raise a child that feels valued, respected, and loved.|
|3.||Pay attention to what is going on in your child's life.|
|4.||Recognize the warning signs for drug/alcohol use, depression, and future violence. Take action, if necessary, rather than slipping into denial.|
|5.||Encourage participation in extra-curricular activities.|
|6.||Set reasonable limits and boundaries then enforce them in a fair manner.|
|7.||SPEND TIME WITH YOUR TEEN.|
|8.||Seek professional help for your teen if you think it is necessary.|
Following these guidelines won't necessarily guarantee a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted teen, but you can bet it's a good start.