Being aware of health issues your teen faces today is just one of the many challenges of being a parent. Parents of teens should all be awarded metals for reaching the end of the adolescent years without seriously injuring their child. With emotional ups and downs, body changes, as well as many other health issues, parents have a lot to be responsible for. Being aware of the many different health issues that teens face today is just the first step.
Being aware and involved
If you don’t know it already, the teenage years are probably the most crucial years in a child’s life. It is the time when they make most major decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. It’s the time when they either make good friends or bad ones, and it’s the time when they really figure out who they are and what they believe. The teenage years can be a time that either makes or breaks a child. Many of their decisions are impulsive and based on what their peers and friends are doing, which is why it’s so critical for you as a parent to be aware and involved. Being aware is only half; being involved means that you will take an active role in their life. You will give them much needed parental advice even though they don’t want to hear it and you will set boundaries and rules for them to live by in order to help create some structure in their lives. As an aware and involved parent you can help them reach their full potential.
The dangers of not being aware and involved
Teenagers need limits, boundaries, and someone to show them how to make good decisions; much like small children. The toddler age and the teen age are very similar in that they are looking for autonomy and want to be their own person but need some guidance on how to do it. There are several dangers to parents and child if a parent stays unaware and uninvolved. Here are just a few:
Teens can be preoccupied with their appearance.
- Drugs and Alcohol abuse. Ignoring this issue can bring many other dangers than just a few drinks here and there. Every teen needs a parent who will be realistic with them about what’s appropriate, where it’s appropriate and why you should or shouldn’t do it. Both drugs and alcohol abuse can lead to drunk driving, taking a life or ones own life, and much more.
- Emotional health issues. Teenagers are emotional roller coasters and ignoring it won’t just make it go away. In fact it will make it worse. Ignored emotional problems can lead to depression, rage and aggressive behavior, as well as eating disorders and many others.
- Teen pregnancy. I’m not just talking about girls here parents; a boy and a girl are both responsible for their actions and you choose to be unaware of their activities and who they are involved with teen pregnancy can happen.
Of course these may be a bit drastic in terms of not being involved but realistic none the less. Some less drastic examples might be grades slipping, unacceptance by peers, or inactivity and depression.
How can you help your teen?
As a parent you literally have the world at your hands and the ability to get your teen involved and out there. Here are some ideas:
- Help them gain confidence by finding activities that they like and are good at. Whether it’s playing a sport or playing an instrument; every child has strengths. Find their strengths and capitalize on them.
- Make your home available to them and their friends. Make their friends feel comfortable in your home so you can get to know them better and they’ll want to bring people over.
- Set some boundaries but don’t try to change who they are. They’re still searching for their identity so let them search. You can still have rules while they do that however.
- Talk with them about what’s going on in their lives so that you are aware of the issues they are facing. Once you know what’s going on you can choose to involve yourself in the best way possible.
Being aware of health issues your teen faces isn’t enough today. You have to be aware and involved in their lives, their friends, academics, and pretty much everything. It’s a thin line however between being involved and being over involved so pace yourself and try to find the balance.