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Sadly, we can’t do away with parental fears altogether. What we can do is remind you that, as parents, we often make this stage harder than it needs to be by letting our nightmares come to life.
When you were a teenager, you likely thought your mom made a meal of raising you, and probably convinced yourself that you’d never be the same once your kids reached that age. But, now they’ve hit that milestone, and you’ve found an affinity with your mother that you never expected. Now, you’re the one who sits up nights, stressing about what your teens are up to.
Parental Fears: How to Raise Teens in Today's Society
Let’s face it; while you’re busy convincing yourself that your teen is out getting high, there’s every chance they’re just doing what teens do – hanging out with mates. While that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be the first to encourage them into a substance abuse treatment program if they do have a problem, it does signify that you should let nightmare scenarios slide, and instead start seeing your teen for who they are in the following ways.
Know Who Your Teen's Friends Are
Imagine that your teen could be in with ‘the wrong crowd’ is, in itself, enough to send you into a spiral of worry. So, make an effort to meet their mates and stop that stress. You could just make a few introductions when you pick them up, or even offer for them to host a get together when you’re home. The chances are that doing so will reveal their mates as polite, sweet teens that aren’t dragging them down half as much as you envisioned.
Have Open Conversations to Avoid Lies
If your teen stays out, you likely spend the whole time imagining what they’re up to. Unless, of course, you already know. Letting your teen camp out with a bunch of mates isn’t ideal, but at least saying yes to this kind of thing means they’re truthful with you. By comparison, attempting to stop means they’ll lie about what they’re up doing. That’s the root of all parenting nightmares, and it puts you in a much worse position for keeping them safe!
Take A Break and Have Daily Talks
Talking and raising teens don’t exactly go together, but they should. By making an effort to have a good, non-judgmental conversation with your teen at least once a week, you’ll stand a much better chance at understanding who they are, what they’re up to, and where they’re going with their lives. These conversations can undoubtedly wipe the floor with your worst imaginings and show you the reality that you would never face otherwise.
Teens can fall into trouble, and as a parent, it’s undeniably vital you realize that. But, it rarely pays to assume that this will be the case for your youngsters. Instead, you stand to make your and their lives easier by simply implementing these pointers, and ensuring that you’re faced with facts, rather than your overactive teen parent imagination.