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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Protecting Your Teen: A Guide

As a parent or guardian, there’s no doubt that bringing up teens can be tough. The phase between 13-19 years is usually full of difficulties. Children in this age gap are going through many physical, mental and emotional changes. Internet addiction, anxiety, depression, teen suicide, drug, and alcohol abuse are some of the many challenges facing our kids. It’s scary to think of how vulnerable teens are to danger yet they struggle to strive for independence and seek peer acceptance. One of the hardest questions in parenting is ‘How do we protect our teens without being overprotective?’ Here are some ways of protecting your child through their teenage years.

 Image Source: Pixabay

Effective and Open Communication
Parents need to feel free talking about sensitive topics like dating, bullying, and sex with their teens. A positive connection is built by listening and being emotionally present. Parents who openly communicate with their children are more likely to receive an open response. Initiating discussions creates a comfortable environment for your teen. You need to approach the problems with empathy and love during this difficult phase of their lives. This is also vital in developing their communication styles. Children who learn to express themselves openly early in life depict the same openness in communication as adults.

Talk about Substance Abuse
Your children need to be informed to make appropriate decisions in life. The best indicator for child future behaviour is parent behaviour. Do you abuse drugs yourself? Children observe their caregivers and do as they do, not as they are told. It is important to look around for the apple tree before picking up on the apple. If you abuse drugs consider stopping as this could set a bad example to your child.

Also, do not wait until a problem arises to address it. Be specific by explaining to them how alcohol or drugs affect the human body. Discuss the dos and don’ts of drinking. Set reasonable rules and converse on the consequences. Moreover, give your child advice to get out of a risky situation when caught up in one. Your involvement will assist your child stay safe.

Understand what substance abuse is so that you can teach your children the risks with participating it in.

Monitor their Online Life
Ensuring a teen’s online security can be overwhelming. The threats teens face are real. They include cyber bullying, paedophiles, hackers and more. Statistics show that children who have social media conversations with their parents are more aware of the threats, hence avoiding them. Parents should first start by educating themselves by trying out new applications and researching on terms they do not understand. Follow your kids on social media but do not stalk them. Lastly, use parental controls and regularly check their privacy settings.

Seek Professional Help
Today, professional help is easily accessible. It is important to encourage other platforms of seeking help even in the parent's absence. Parents should not hesitate to seek and accept help from experts. There are a variety of resources available such as The Ignite Treatment Centres offer treatment programs like depression treatment, gaming addiction treatment among others.

The most productive way of protecting your teen against possible threats is by creating a healthy relationship with them. They crave for support, attention, and acceptance. Teens are prone to reach out for help more when they feel safe.
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