Teenagers are faced with many challenges today; perhaps more so than when parents were teenagers. On the same note, parents are faced with the challenge of raising their teens in a peer pressured world. With so many health issues at hand there are definitely some valid parental concerns when it comes to raising a teenager. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid common teen health issues and to raise a happy teenager.
- Know where your teen is and what they’re doing. I’m not telling you to keep tabs on them twenty four hours a day, however it is a parent’s right and job to know what they’re child is doing and where they will be. For a teen this may feel like you’re trying to “babysit” them, after all they’re old enough to make their own decisions right? Wrong. We want to give them their space, but being responsible about their activities is a little different. Knowing where they are and what they’re doing can help avoid some common teen health issues like drug and alcohol addiction or teen pregnancy.
- Don’t threaten their individuality. Finding out who they are and what they truly believe in is part of the adolescent stage, and if a teen feels threatened they will definitely rebel. Let them be who they are but be aware of their surroundings and behavior.
- Communicate with them. Keeping the lines of communication open is probably the most important thing a parent can do during the teenage years. Keeping those communication lines open can really help you avoid some of the hardest and worst teen health issues out there today. Parents who talk with their teens about different issues like smoking, alcohol and tobacco use, sex, and other issues are far more likely to have teens that make better choices than those who don’t have those open lines with parents.
- Be supportive. No matter how good a parent you are, things will always come up and issues will arise. As a parent it might be difficult to stay on neutral ground but it’s important to try and be supportive. If teens know that you will support them and stand behind them through thick and thin they’re more likely to make good healthy choices.
- Teach them to achieve goals. A lazy teenager is one that will likely find trouble whereas a teenager working towards something has less idle time on their hands and a will to succeed. Setting goals is a part of life and teaching your teen to set goals young can help them become successful and life their self confidence, while at the same time avoiding many of the teen health issues that can lead to low self esteem and ugly eating disorders.
- Leave room for failure. Trying to raise a teen without letting them fail at a few things here and there won’t allow your teen to grow and learn. Failure is always going to be a part of life and teenagers need to learn that they can grow and learn from the mistakes they make and move on.
Figuring out how to avoid common teen health issues is almost impossible; figuring out how to raise a happy teen to avoid some of those issues isn’t however. Health issues will always arise when it comes to teenagers, but doing as much as you can to avoid some of those can be done successfully by remembering these six simple things.