It’s Time To Talk…
For most parents, handling their teenagers is the most challenging stage of their entire parenthood experience. Thinking about all the conversations to have with your teenager can be worrying…
However, being a teenager also involves many changes and growth that may confuse your child if they are not handled with utmost care and understanding.
Sadly, there’s no specific parenthood template for parents to follow because every child is unique. However, some conversations are important for you to have with them to help them get through this stage successfully.
Drugs and Alcohol
The world has undoubtedly changed compared to when you were a teenager. Unfortunately, the reality is that drugs and other substances are more accessible to teenagers than ever.
Take time to talk to your child about the effects of consuming them. Then, create an environment where they’d openly tell you of a dealer if they came across someone trying to sell them drugs
In addition, avoid getting so much into their businesses excessively. Instead, give them space and let them know that you trust them to make rational decisions.
Health and Sex Education
Kids experience a lot of changes in their bodies in their teenage years. For most, this is the time they become more aware of their bodies, and their esteem issues escalate.
As a parent, your responsibility is to remain supportive and listen during this time. But, please, do not judge them when they choose to be open and vulnerable with you.
For example, if your teenage child feels insecure with their teeth, you can be supportive by going to an orthodontist with them. This way, you get to be part of their struggles and establish a long-lasting relationship of trust.
Talk to your teenager about their sexual and reproductive health. At least, this will give the impression that you are aware of the things they are going through and that they can consult you if they have any problems.
It is normal and natural to have your own expectations for your teenager as a parent. You will probably expect better performance from them, and in case they are not performing well, you will want an explanation for it.
Having these expectations as long as they are reasonable is understandable. However, failing to communicate these expectations is where the real problems begin. There is no need to hide it for your teenager that you want the best for them.
The healthy thing to do is to be open, discuss with them, and understand you. This could be your chance to hear their sentiments and know what goes around in their school.
Even if you bring up your child in the same neighbourhood as you grew up, your experiences will not be the same as yours. They are delicate and different and should be treated as they are.
Avoid comparing your teenager to their peers as this will only lower their esteem. In addition, always speak to them as openly and directly as possible. It is imperative that you do not beat around the bush because they may interpret it as mistrust.