Before the cyber-life of teens, the big discussion would be the sex-chat.
We can’t allow this to be neglected. As schools are opening up across the country, here are some reminders to set healthy boundaries with your teens.
- We can follow a few simple guidelines that will make teens less likely to engage in risky behavior such as drinking, smoking, having unprotected sex, or having sex before they’re ready.
- Knowing where teens are, not allowing them to spend too much unsupervised time with other teens, and knowing who they’re spending time with can limit teens’ likelihood of engaging in risky behavior.
- We need to establish clear expectations with our teens and check in regularly to be sure those expectations are met.
Many teens resist when we want to know what they’re doing because they are at a stage in life when independence becomes very important to them. But most teens will listen to their parents and try to stick to the rules if they have a strong relationship. We should let our teens know that we want what is best for them. It may help to read more about having good parent-teen relationships.
Balance is key. We don’t want to smother our teens by insisting on knowing everything they do. But if they are going out for a couple of hours, we should know where they are going, who they’re with, what they’ll be doing together, and when they’ll be home.
The ways in which we monitor and supervise our kids usually depends on our parenting style. Some of us are very strict. Some of us allow our teens to have too much independence. Our parenting style depends on our life circumstances, family culture, and values.
Take a moment to think about your own parenting style:
- Do you tend to set strict rules and enforce punishments?
- Do you give your child a lot of freedom?
- Do you feel overprotective of your child?
- Do you think that you’re more relaxed in your style?
No matter what our parenting style, it’s helpful to avoid the extremes. If we rely on authority and fear, or if we’re too overprotective, our teens are more likely to rebel. On the other hand, if we give our teens too much freedom, they may feel like their parents don’t care what they do.
It’s also helpful to involve our teens in setting rules for themselves. They will be more likely to respect the rules, feel respected, and respect us if they understand the reasons behind the rules and get to negotiate with us about them. We can revisit the rules from time to time with them as teens age and show increasing independence.
Source: Planned Parenthood
There are a library of video’s to learn more about conversations starters to have with your teen. Studies have shown parents are the number one influence on their child. Be there for them. Keep your lines of communication open, we know it’s not easy, but it will be worth it.