Raising teenagers can be difficult. They are growing and turning into adults. However, they aren’t quite there yet. They have a lot to learn, but they are exposed to the same material as adults. You need to help prepare them for some of the more awkward things that may come up as they continue to grow. Here are some awkward conversations every parent should have with their teenager.
1. Drugs and Alcohol
Kids are exposed to drugs and alcohol sooner than ever. Teenagers generally want to experiment, making these temptations all that more attractive in their eyes. Plus, all of the cool kids are doing it. While schools usually teach DARE in middle school, you need to have your own conversation about drugs and alcohol.
The main emphasis should be safety and moderation. If your child does decide to try alcohol or drugs in high school or college, you need to explain to them how important it is to take it easy. You also need to explain how important it is to have a sober driver. Make it clear that if they do anything illegal, they could get into serious trouble that you can’t help them with. Finally, you should set a good example yourself.
2. Sexual Health and Relationships
Teenagers are full of hormones. You will not be able to stop them from flirting and dating. However, you can set clear boundaries and rules. You can also talk to them to help them make the right decisions.
Talk about safe sex and the consequences of unprotected sex, such as pregnancy or disease. If your child is worried because of a particular encounter, you should be there for them. Know how to get tested for STDs at home if it ever becomes necessary.
You should also talk to your teenager about relationships. Teach them what should be acceptable in a relationship and what should not be acceptable. You should also teach them that if someone ever gets violent, they need to leave right away and come to you. This can help your teen make the right decisions in love.
Teenagers aren’t known for being great with money. You need to talk to them about money management, bills, making a budget, credit cards, student loans, taxes, and anything else you can think of. This way you know that your child at least has the information to make the right decisions.
4. Career Options
As an adolescent, your child needs to start thinking about what they want to do for a career. Many teens have outlandish dreams. You want to support their dreams. You also want your child to be realistic. Encourage education in whatever field they choose. Even if they want to get into acting, music, or writing, they can still go to college to hone their craft. You should also explain how important it is to work hard if they want to achieve their dreams.
Your teenager will make mistakes. It’s part of the growing process. We still make mistakes ourselves as adults. However, you want to help limit their mistakes and prevent them from making decisions that can affect their lives in ways that they never dreamed possible.