Every generation in modern times faces issues that previous generations never had to face. Teenagers today have never known life without the internet and its temptations – making a parent’s job very complicated.
Instead of worrying about kids on the neighborhood bus like parents used to, parents must now worry about their access to the whole global population on the internet. Adults can easily prey on children via internet chat rooms, posing as children in an effort to do unspeakable things.
Raising a teenager today and avoiding the pitfalls of the internet can make a parent’s job quite an art. Parents must be creative as they stay on top of what their children have access to without being too overbearing – which is a difficult task for parents of any generation.
Dangers Facing Today’s Teenagers
Just a few decades ago, it was considered safe in most places to let the kids ride off on their bicycles to arrive home by dark, spending the entire time unsupervised. Kids today are being forced to grow up faster and faster thanks to all the technology that is available to them, because they must learn what to be aware of and what to watch out for that may look completely innocent.
Teenagers in recent generations were faced with the sex-and-drugs scene, and parents had to explain and model how to stay safe from these elements – and drinking and smoking cigarettes were two of the biggest problems. But today’s teens are exposed to designer drugs that didn’t exist a couple of decades ago, and the recipes for these illegal substances are readily available on the internet.
How Can I Raise a Healthy Teenager?
Good question. The best answer to that is to remain involved in every facet of a teenager’s life. For example, no sleepovers at homes where you’ve never met the other child’s parents before. Set a responsible and reasonable curfew, and make sure you know where they’re going.
Instilling a value system in a teen is the best gift that can be given. Make your teenager responsible for certain chores, ask them about their schoolwork and what classes they enjoy, and be involved in their sports or other extracurricular activities. They may not show it, but they’ll be glad you care about them.
Pay Attention and Know What’s Going On
Be an involved parent who doesn’t ignore the signs and sets a healthy example. Let teens express themselves, let them have friends and attend parties, but be involved and stay involved in your teenager’s life.
By paying attention to teens who are enduring the drastic changes of puberty, parents are helping teens develop a solid moral compass. Plan fun family vacations and events that interest your teenagers. Let them take a random day off of school and bring them to the museum for that special exhibit!
By validating their worth from within the family, it will help them make better choices and decisions when they are on their own later on.
Pediatricians in Northeast Massachusetts
If you suspect that your teenager is making poor social choices, or if they are receiving failing grades in school, get them help. Speak with their doctor or find one who can offer help for a troubled teen.
We’re here for you and your family. Contact our team at Children’s Health Care by calling one of our locations in Massachusetts, or request an appointment online. We can guide you in helping you raise a healthy teenager so they’ll turn into happy, healthy adults.