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Many parents have questions and concerns about the adolescence years. Remembering our own challenges will assist us in guiding our children with love and understanding. Being our child’s biggest cheerleader will build confidence in who they are. Communicate values, self-esteem, love and acceptance.
REMEMBER YOUR TEENAGE SELF
Reflect on your own teenage years.
The challenges, conflict, embarrassing situations, heartache, and fears. Share this information with your teen. Maybe they have a similar situation or can relate to the story. It will help your teen realize they are not alone. Parents who know and understand what is coming will be better prepared for the years to come.
Adolescence begins with the onset of physiologically normal puberty and ends when an adult identity and behavior. Adolescence is a critical link between childhood and adulthood. There are significant physical, psychological, and social transitions. The development corresponds roughly between the ages of 10 and 19 years. Although there are many risk factors, there are also many opportunities to positively influence the future of our children.
Try to channel your child’s need for thrill-seeking and risk-taking into safe activities.
*Keeping your kids active in sports or other healthy activities that will channel their energy in a positive way.
*Be a role model in your own emotions and actions.
* Stay steady and calm
* Comment on your child's positive behavior and choices.
Adolescents’ moral development will be put to the test.
As adolescents become increasingly independent, they begin thinking about morality. As adolescents’ cognitive, emotional, and social development continue to mature, their understanding of morality expands, and their behavior becomes closely aligned with their values. As parents, we have opportunities to support moral development by modeling the moral character that we want to see in our children. While parents may find this process difficult or challenging, it is important to remember this developmental step is essential to their children’s well-being and ultimate success in life.
It is normal for teenagers to want new experiences. Teenagers need to explore their own limits, abilities as well as boundaries. We want our teens to express themselves as an individual for it is part of their path to independence. Because our teenager’s brain does not fully develop until the age of 25, they are likely to have difficulty with planning and impulse control. Teens will make quick, non-rational decisions and take risks without considering the consequences.
Tips for discipline
* Set clear family rules about behavior and communication. For example, you could say, 'We speak respectfully in our family. ...
* Focus on your child's behavior and how you feel about it. Avoid any comments about your child's personality or character.
* Set and use consequences but try not to set too many.
PICK YOUR BATTLES
Save your objections for things that really matter such as tobacco or drugs. The color or style of their hair, the clothes they wear are temporary.
Teens might act unhappy about the expectations their parents place on them. They will begin to realize their parents care enough to have certain expectations.
TEEN PEER PRESSURE
Our teens are pressured and influenced by others. They may choose to do something we wouldn’t otherwise do.
Peer pressure can also be positive. Your teen may be open to doing new activities or be involved in a school or church club.
Peer pressure may also be negative. Some teens might be influenced to try smoking or participate in unacceptable behavior. Teens want to feel included and accepted. Coping with peer pressure is getting the balance right between being yourself and fitting in with a group. Having a larger social group may give your teen options as to what social group they fit best with.
Keeping our teens on track to succeed in school, is a difficult challenge. There are things we can do to support their academic years.
*Sending Your Teen to School Ready to Learn
Starting your teens day with readiness and positivity is a great way to begin their day.
A nutritious breakfast fuels teens and gets them ready for the day. In general, teens who eat breakfast have more energy and do better in school.
A routine sleep schedule is also beneficial. Teens require more than 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
*Attend Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences
Teens do better in school when parents support their academic efforts. It is also a great way to understand expectations, to be involved and to have the opportunity to talk with your child’s teachers.
*Visit the schools website
On the school website, you may find information about:
- the school calendars
- contacting school staff
- special events like dances and class trips
- testing dates
- current grades and missing assignments
- sign-up information and schedules for sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities
- student resources
*Support Homework Expectations
Throughout the high school years, your teen is learning how to balance their life. Between academics, family, a social life, other extracurricular activities and maybe even a job. We want to support and guide them through this learning stage. As we all know, balancing our lives becomes a key component in a successful future.
Schoolwork also gets more intense, and grades become critical for college plans.
Having a quiet, well-lit, distraction-free place to study will benefit your teen tremendously.
Consistently sitting down with your teen to go over class loads, assignments and other scheduled responsibilities will assist them with keeping on track and will keep communication a priority.
Another great lesson for our teen is the understanding we all could use support and assistance. Guide our teens to ask for help when needed.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS
Begin conversations on topics that your teen may feel uncomfortable bringing up. Try to answer questions openly and honestly without overloading them with too much information. If you are unsure how to answer a question, discuss it with your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may also recommend books for you and your teenager to read.
Adolescence may be an overwhelming challenge for parents and kids alike. With patience, love, guidance, and acceptance, we will make it through this transition.
As always, Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise is available to answer all your questions and concerns. At Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise we work hard to provide your family with the best Adolscent care and service as possible-book an appointment today.
It is always our pleasure to be of service to you and your loved ones.