Teens and High School: Effective Ways to Keep Them Out of Trouble

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Every parent knows or has heard a story about the troubles of parenting a teenager. Once they reach adolescence, it seems the dynamics of parent-child relationship change. You were a teenager once yourself, so you know that during this age there is an inner struggle to find your own identity while also fitting in with your peers. While you’re aware that there is going to be a bit of a battle with your ever-changing teen, your prayer is that they don’t veer too far to the left or right and end up travelling down a path of destruction.

 

Unfortunately, trying to force them into submission, lecturing them daily, and threatening to punish them aren’t tactics that have been proven to work. Your teen is willing to take risks as they go through this self-discovery phase. Therefore, if you want to try and keep your teen out of trouble, you’ll need to take a different approach.

They Must Feel Safe to Communicate

From how they’re doing in classes to relationship trouble and peer pressure, there’s a lot going on in the world of your teenager. As most parents will find, however, this information doesn’t come as freely as it once did when your child wanted to share everything. This is okay and typical teenage behaviour. However, if you want your teens to stay out of trouble, you need to make sure they know they can communicate with you. When they do open up to you about topics, it is important to listen to them, acknowledge their feelings, and provide advice only as needed. Trying to come off as a know-it-all or putting them down for decisions you don’t agree with will force them to go to others when there’s something going on.

 Keep Them Occupied

An idle mind, as the saying goes, is the devil’s playground. Teens tend to get into the most mischief when they don’t have anything to do outside of school. You can reduce the amount of downtime they have by encouraging them to sign up for activities. There are a lot of things they can do in the school and in the community to keep their minds off the negativity. Enrol your daughter in ballet or dance lessons. Find out about community sports teams and encourage your son to join. You might even check with the school to see what kinds of free activities are available to students after school. Or better yet, find something you can all do together. For instance, the mom and daughter duo might enjoy taking a yoga class together. You can have fun shopping for yoga toe socks and matching athletic wear and then enjoy quality time stretching and breathing.

 Rely on Your Village

They weren’t lying when they said it takes a village to raise a child. Now that your kids are getting older, you’ll need to rely on that village just a bit more. From your parents and closest friends to the local church and even the school, you need to turn to them for help in keeping your teen on the straight and narrow. Older but positive adults can serve as role models who your kid might turn to when they feel they can’t come to you. Church teen groups provide your teens with a group of positive children their age they can relate to and learn from. Teachers can monitor school activities, and guidance counsellors are there to help them map out there future. When you tap into all these resources, your teen is surrounded by a group of positive people who want nothing more than to see them succeed, which may deter them from wanting to do the wrong thing.

The “typical teenager” stereotypes are all true. Your teen will change in ways you probably didn’t think were possible. They start to spend more time with friends, talk less at home, change up their appearance, get a bit moody at times, and even become lazy, stinky, and everything in between. Yet, in a very advanced world where everything is easily accessible and society is a bit crueller, you want your typical teen to navigate this stage in their lives without too many problems. It can’t be done with force, but with open communication, plenty of activities to keep them occupied, and the help of your village, you can reduce the likelihood of your teen getting into trouble.

 


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