Sometimes, you have to do difficult things and have difficult conversations when you’re a parent. And never is that more true than when your kids reach their teenage years. It’s important that you’re there to guide them and point them in the right direction as they’re growing up and experiencing all kinds of things for the first time. Here are the most important conversations you’ll need to have and the subjects you’ll need to cover with your teen sooner or later.
Respecting Themselves and Others
Respect is something that your kids need to learn and this is something that usually takes place during their teenage years. Self-confidence is a big part of this because it’s not just about respecting others; it’s also about respecting themselves. It’s hard to have these conversations with your teen sometimes because they don’t always take things seriously or want to hear sincere messages from you, but it’s important nonetheless.
This is something that parents find tough because many are not as in tune with how teens use the internet these days. But you need to understand and make sure you talk these issues through with your kids to make sure they stay safe when they’re online and especially when they’re interacting with other people. There are many risks out there that need to be avoided.
The Safe Sex Chat
You might not like the idea of your son or daughter having an active sex life, but whether you like it or not doesn’t really happen. It’s still likely to happen regardless of your thoughts and feelings. With that in mind, it’s important that they at least go about it in a safe way. That means talking to them about using a condom and being safe. (Get ready for “Oooh Muuuum! That’s gross!” comments). No one wants to become a grandparent when their own babies are just teens.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs pose real threats and that’s the case even if those things are not really present in your household or family. They need to know the risks and it’s best if you approach this in an honest and frank way. It doesn’t help if you’re entirely preachy about it so it’s important to strike the right tone if you want the message to really sink in for them. The key is to allow them to talk to you honestly without judgement.
Mental Health Awareness
Finally, you should make it clear to your teen that you’re more than happy to talk through mental health issues with them. Teenagers are under more pressure than ever and it’s no surprise that mental health is a bigger deal than ever for teens. Be there to talk these issues through with them and offer the support they need when they need it.
When you’re parenting a teen, there’ll be lots of challenges and difficulties you’ll experience along the way. It’s one of the toughest periods for parents, but if you talk to your child and keep those lines of communication open, it’ll be better for you and helpful to them, so be sure to have these difficult chats.