To all of the parents of teens needing advice.
Find a Conversation
|Fri, 11-11-2011 - 1:07pm|
I am a 27 year old graduate student studying to be an adolescent counselor. I am researching parents concerns and teen issues. I have a 2 year old son so I have not reached any of these problems, but I was a teen not to long ago and I would like to offer my advice. It doesn't seem that much has changed over the past ten years and I feel it is important to have some incite from someone who has been through issues like this. When I was a teenager I exhibited many of the things everyone is concerned about. I had sex for the first time at age 14, I smoked pot, drank alcohol, and had no parental supervision. I would first like to tell you that I grew out of all of these behaviors and it was not because my parents wanted me to. Sadly I am an exception, I would say half of my friends who did everything I did evolved into well educated, successful adults, but the other half are still doing the same thing.
My advice which I think might save some of your teenagers is to find someone a couple years older than your teen who they will look up to and respect. Teens never listen to what their parents have to say especially if they are already exhibiting some of these behaviors. This is why they need advice from a teen who is on the right path or who has grown out of these behaviors. Have the older teen take them out to show them they can have fun without doing drugs, having sex, or drinking alcohol. Also the older teen can tell them why it was a mistake to have sex at such a young age, what it does to their social status, and the consequences behind them. If your teen responds to this they will be proud to have an older friend and want to follow in their footsteps. I also feel it is important to tell your teens what you went through when you were a teen, my parents never even had a sex talk with me and I feel if they had I maybe would've waited.
As for what a parent can do, I would take every sign very seriously. Having open communication, strict rules and boundaries, and respect from your child is a must. This means do not stoop to their level, do not scream, or hit, drink, or do drugs. If you have control over yourself it will be much easier to control your teenager. Many people in this forum suggest limiting TV, internet, and texting. The first time there is a problem take these things away and do not give them back, they have broken your trust and do not deserve such luxuries. When your teenager spends the night out it is time to be a spy! Teenagers know how to get around everything. They will use 3 way to make it seem they are calling from their friends home when they are really out or at the bf's or gf's house. You must know their friends parents and if you don't know them well or don't have the same values,