• He'll become more socially and physically adventurous, wanting to travel on his own, taking up risky activities, such as rock climbing or surfing. He will also be able to get his driver's license (or a permit) once he's 16. This combination of risk-taking and novice driving can be very dangerous. In his eyes, though, his social life will appear greatly improved with his new freedom to go where he wants, when he wants (as long as you give him the keys).
• You may want to revisit the issue of his allowance at this point: This could be a good time to lengthen the time between doling out his agreed-upon cash from weekly to monthly, for instance. If he starts learning how to parcel out money, instead of spending it as soon as it hits his palm, he will be much better off when he leaves home in a few years.
• Adolescents of this age tend to want to talk about "issues": One topic of special fascination is the paranormal: reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, life after death. They'll also want to talk about things that they see as affecting teenagers, such as abortion, war and the environment, in addition to more worldly concerns such as capital punishment, police violence, or anything involving a miscarriage of justice.
• The chances that your teenager has had sex is increasingly likely: By age 16, half of all boys in this country have had sex; the figure for girls is lower, with just over 25 percent doing so by their 16th birthday. Those numbers mean that if your child isn't having sex, he's withstanding a good deal of peer pressure.
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