Educate Yourself about your teenagers physical and mental health issues .Remember , even if they look healthy , there is a lot of changes taking place in your teenager’s body which may make them behave they way they do . Remember this is also the period of rapid brain growth and development .Remember your struggles with acne or your embarrassment at developing early — or late. Expect some mood changes in your typically sunny child, and be prepared for more conflict as he or she matures as an individual. Parents who know what’s coming can cope with it better. And the more you know, the better you can prepare.
Talk to your teens often regarding their day to day activity , friends , health and academics . Let them know you are always there for them . Answer the early questions kids have about bodies, such as the differences between boys and girls and where babies come from. But don’t overload them with information — just answer their questions. If you don’t know the answers, get them from someone who does, like a trusted friend or your pediatrician.
You know your kids. You can tell when attention to personal appearance is increasing. This is a good time to jump in with your own questions such as:
- Are you noticing any changes in your body?
- Are you having any strange feelings?
- Are you sad sometimes and don’t know why?
A yearly physical exam is a great time to talk about this. A doctor can tell your preadolescent — and you — what to expect in the next few years. An exam can be a jumping-off point for a good parent/child discussion. The later you wait to have these talks, the more likely your child will be to form misconceptions or become embarrassed about or afraid of physical and emotional changes.
And the earlier you open the lines of communication, the better your chances of keeping them open through the teen years. Give your child books on puberty written for kids going through it. Share memories of your own adolescence. There’s nothing like knowing that mom or dad went through it, too, to put kids more at ease,
Put Yourself in Your Child’s Place Practice empathy by helping your child understand that it’s normal to be a bit concerned or self-conscious, and that it’s OK to feel grown-up one minute and like a kid the next.
Pick Your Battles If teenagers want to dye their hair, paint their fingernails black, or wear funky clothes, think twice before you object. Teens want to shock their parents and it’s a lot better to let them do something temporary and harmless; save your objections for things that really matter, like tobacco, drugs and alcohol, or permanent changes to their appearance.Ask why your teen wants to dress or look a certain way and try to understand how your teen is feeling. You also might want to discuss how others might perceive them if they look different — help your teen understand how he or she might be viewed.Set ExpectationsTeens may not like & may act unhappy about the expectations their parents place on them. However, they usually understand and need to know that their parents care enough about them to expect certain things such as good grades, acceptable behavior, and sticking to the house rules. If parents have appropriate expectations, teens will likely try to meet them. Without reasonable expectations, your teen may feel you don’t care about him or her.
Inform Your Teen — and Stay Informed Yourself
The teen years often are a time of experimentation, and sometimes that experimentation includes risky behaviors. Don’t avoid the subjects drug, alcohol, or tobacco use. Discussing tough topics openly with kids before they’re exposed to them actually makes it more likely that they’ll act responsibly when the time comes. Share your family values with your teen and talk about what you believe is right and wrong, and why.
Know your child’s friends — and know their friends’ parents. Regular communication between parents can go a long way toward creating a safe environment for all teens in a peer group. Parents can help each other keep track of the kids’ activities without making the kids feel that they’re being watched.
Know the Warning Signs
A certain amount of change is normal during the teen years. But too drastic or long-lasting a switch in personality or behavior may signal real trouble — the kind that needs professional help. Watch for these warning signs:
- extreme weight gain or loss
- sleep problems
- rapid, drastic changes in personality
- sudden change in friends
- skipping school often
- falling grades
- talk about suicide
- signs of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use
- run-ins with the law
Any other inappropriate behavior that lasts for more than 6 weeks can be a sign of underlying trouble. . You may expect some problems in your teen’s behavior or grades during this time, but a good student shouldn’t suddenly be failing, and your normally outgoing kid shouldn’t suddenly become constantly withdrawn..
Respect Kids’ Privacy is very important ait helps your teen to become responsible .However , respecting privacy doesnot mean that you will not be watchful . Any warning signs of trouble, then you can invade your child’s privacy until you get to the heart of the problem. But otherwise, it’s a good idea to back off. In other words, your teenager’s room, texts, e-mails, and phone calls should be private. You also shouldn’t expect your teen to share all thoughts or activities with you at all times. Of course, for safety reasons, you should always know where teens are going, when they’ll be returning, what they’re doing, and with whom, but you don’t need to know every detail. Start with trust. Tell your teen that you trust him or her, but if the trust gets broken, he or she will enjoy fewer freedoms until it’s rebuilt. Some parents may feel that anything their kids do is their business and expect yo get invited to events with their teenagers . This is something which is best avoided
Monitor What Kids See and Readkids have access to tons of information. Be aware of what yours watch and read. Don’t be afraid to set limits on the amount of time spent in front of the computer or the TV. Know what they’re learning from the media and who they may be communicating with online.Teens shouldn’t have unlimited access to TV or the Internet in private — these should be public activities. Access to technology also should be limited after certain hours (for example, 10 p.m. or so) to encourage adequate sleep. It’s not unreasonable to have cellphones and computers off limits after a certain time.
Make Appropriate RulesBedtime for a teenager should be age appropriate, just as it was when your child was a baby. Teens still need about 8-9 hours of sleep. Encourage your teen to stick to a sleep schedule that will meet those needs.
Reward your teen for being trustworthy. Encourage a reasonable amount of family time together, but be flexible. Don’t be insulted when your growing child doesn’t always want to be with you. Think back: You probably felt the same way about your mom and dad.
As the teens progress through life , you’ll notice a slowing of the highs and lows of adolescence. And, eventually, they’ll become independent, responsible, communicative young adults.