Today’s teenagers are inundated with more information than ever with computers, cell phones and twenty four hour cable. School shootings, teen suicide, pregnancy and drug usage are not just on MTV and the nightly news; they are a regular part of your children’s middle and high school experience as well. These issues are so prevalent today, it is more important than ever that we, as parents of teens, help our children to navigate, deal with, and understand these issues.
I often sat down with my two teenage girls and talked through these issues, but I was left wanting more. So I asked them to share their thoughts on what parents of teens can do to improve “the teen years” within households across the country. This guest post is brought to you by my fabulous daughters when they were fifteen and sixteen years old.
1. Don’t use “don’t”
This will just make them want to do even more!
2. Let them do somethings on their own
Don’t always tell them what to do or how to schedule their time, give them the chance to learn for themselves.
3. Don’t try to act like you know everything that is going on
4. Bullying is different, it’s just not at school
With all the new technology like cell phones and computers, bullying can follow kids home. Please take it seriously if they bring it up.
5. Remember, if you bought the computer or cell phone, you have the right to check it
This goes without saying.
6. Please be considerate of teen’s privacy
Even though you can check, give them space.
7. Set & keep rules
Teens still need them and appreciate them. Even though they don’t act that way.
8. Maintain a bed time
Most teens do not get enough sleep. Yes, we do want to stay up and play on our electronics, but we appreciate you giving us a nudge in the right direction.
9. Don’t Urban Dictionary everything
There’s some stuff you just don’t need to know. And please don’t try to use the words in conversation, it just doesn’t work. Remember how awkward it was when your parents used slang?
10. If aren’t comfortable, please do not let your teen go to that friend’s house
Chances are, they aren’t comfortable either and are just trying to fit it. Saying no is okay.
11. Most kids first drink comes from their parents liquor cabinet
Please lock it as well as be careful with prescription drugs. Google pharming, don’t Urban Dictionary it! It might not be that your kids are the problem, it could be their friends.
12. Openly discuss sex, drugs and alcohol
This should not be a one time conversation but an ongoing dialogue between parents and their teens. We need you to be open so that we can talk to you.
Remember, you were a teen once too, no matter how long ago that was!
Note from Peggy I am one proud mama!! What would you add to this list? Do you discuss these things with your teenagers?