Navigating The Teen Years: A Parentís Handbook for Raising Healthy Teens
|eBooks - Family|
|March 31 2008|
A Word About Parenting Teens
If you have a teenager in your life, youíve probably done your share of worrying about the potential risks out there. Alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use. Dangerous driving. Sexual activity. Maybe even the pressures of school, sports or fitting in.
Youíve probably also worried that youíre no longer the most influential force in your childís life. Teens are facing a host of intense challenges and changes in their lives, and like to act as if they alone can deal with them. But the reality is that teens need (and secretly want) your help and guidance. In fact, now that you have a teenager, your job as a parent isnít done, itís just different.
The good news is that most of todayís teens are thriving. Adolescents today are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit a violent crime or drop out of school compared to their parentsí generation. They volunteer more than ever before and are actively exploring their spirituality. They are more tolerant and more likely to have friends with different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. And most teens would even say they have positive relationships with their parents, siblings and friends. In short, they are finding their way, but not without the involvement and presence of YOU, the parent.
That said, the risks facing teenagers today are real. Theyíre also different for every teen, and they might even surprise you. Did you know that rural and suburban teens are more likely than urban youth to have problems with alcohol or illicit drugs? And, despite all the warnings about impaired driving, 30 percent of students report that theyíve ridden one or more times in the last month with a driver who had been drinking.
Remember when your children first learned to walk? They often searched for a table or momís leg to steady themselves. Perhaps they even panicked if they couldnít find something to hold onto. You made sure they were protected from things that could hurt them if they fell. You stayed close enough to help if they lost their balance but gave them enough room to practice their newfound skill. It was probably a joy for you to see them grow in confidence as they went from crawling to walking, and from walking to running.
Adolescence is a lot like that. Your teens need you close by during this time of exploration or they will find something else to hold on to, just like they did when they were toddlers.
They need your help to navigate the barriers. And they need you close enough to openly ask questions and talk about problems, but far enough away so they can begin making decisions for themselves.
Need more guidance?
Experts have identified some practical parenting skills that can help prevent a wide range of risky behaviors among teens and lead to healthy, well-adjusted youth.
What follows is a ďnuts and boltsĒ summary of the expertsí findings. In this handbook, you will find everyday tips on how to stay involved with your teen as she or he becomes more independent. Whether you are single or married, a mom or dad, or a grandparent or other caregiver, this handbook is for you.
Keep reading to learn how to put these simple principles into practice to raise a safe, healthy and happy teen.
A FINAL NOTE
Itís worth remembering that most teens today are doing well, thanks in large part to supportive, loving and involved parents, like you. But thereís no doubt that parenting a teen can be overwhelming. Even parents who do everything ďrightĒ sometimes have kids who turn to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs.
But despite all the competing influences in the lives of teens, parents remain their kidsí first and best teachers. You donít have to be the expert. You just need to focus on being the parent and knowing how and when to access the information you need.
Most parents wrestle with their role at some point during the teenage years. In fact, many parents and caregivers are already doing many things right, and just need to hear they are on the right path, however difficult the passage through adolescence may be. Other parents might look for more concrete ideas to help their teen navigate these tricky years. Your parenting style may be strict, lenient, or somewhere in-between, but whatever the case, the research shows that parents and families are a teenís best bet. Be there for your teen, and your teenager should be just fine.
PDF Format, 804KB, 24Pages.
This parenting handbook was written by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
The Media Campaign appreciates the invaluable participation of the following organizations in the development and review of this handbook.
FOR MORE HELP This handbook includes information about risky behaviors teens are likely to engage in, including underage drinking, sexual activity and drugged driving. Many resources exist that address these issues in more detail. You can access these resources at www.TheAntiDrug.com/parentresources.
For more information and advice on parenting teenagers, visit www.TheAntiDrug.com (English) or www.LaAntiDroga.com (Spanish). TheAntiDrug.com has resources that can help you understand your specific style; your teenís emotional, psychological and physical development; and pressures facing teens today. The site also includes the latest information about illicit drugs and prevention, as well as booklets you can download.
You can also call 1-800-788-2800 or 1-877-SIN -DROG AS (Spanish) or email email@example.com for more information and materials.
|Last Updated ( March 31 2008 )|
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