Every parent wants to ensure that their child grows up to become a healthy and happy individual. However, in today’s Internet driven world where so many youth are being overwhelmed with many unhealthy decisions, it can be quite challenging for parents to make sure their teen does not go down the wrong path. Here are four things you should consider while raising your teenager:
1. Spend time with them on a consistent basis
Spending time with a school-age child is completely different from spending time with a teenager. Besides showing interest, hanging out with a teenager requires being open minded and you abstaining from judging what they like or dislike. “Sometimes, I watch a movie I have no interest in with my teenage daughter” says Sam Miller, a teenage therapist.“I even had to fall in love with her favorite band so I can have more bond-time with her. I find it very beneficial to give her the space to be herself with me around so that she becomes more accustomed to this. By approaching our relationship in this way, it helps keep the lines of communication open and builds trust.”
2. Monitor their Internet usage as much as possible
Reports from organizations like childrenonline.org revealed that the risks to the safety of a teen or child are greater than the benefits of giving them unsupervised Internet access. With sites like omegle.com and chatroulette.com, our kids can connect audible and visually to predators with internet access. YouTube pays little or no attention to safeguarding your teen from contents they are not eligible to view as it provides them easy access to adult-content.
When your teen progresses into their young adult years, they can have plenty of opportunity to explore such contents without supervision. But for now, its important to keep them on a short leash. While they may be upset at you for this, they will thank you later on when they are older and understand why you were doing this for them.
3. Give them a say when it comes to homework
Not every teen can automatically start his/her assignment when they get home from school. So it’s important you and your teen come to terms and create a regular schedule for doing homework. Ensure the both of you create a routine your teen can follow easily. You can also document what you and your kid agreed upon and post it somewhere in the house they will see; doing this can prevent them from being manipulative and playing on your intelligence, especially when they might want to play on your faded memory. Have at the back of your mind that the homework is not yours, but for your teen, so do not micromanage their work. By giving them a say, it also helps to teach them self-reliance and independence.
4. Teach them to make dinner
Your kid or teen would like to get involved in your activities more than you think. You can take an activity in your home like the family dinner and hand it over to them once in a while. Doing this can give your teen a sense of belonging or importance in the family. You can also allow them to come up with items to purchase or you can bring them along with you when you go shopping. You should also abstain from criticizing them if they make a mistake. Instead, praise and encourage them for preparing the meal. It’s important that they be rewarded for making an effort.