5 Ways to Keep Your Teens Out of Trouble

Most parents associate adolescence with trouble-making and a bad attitude. While some of this may be the reality of parenting a teen, the truth is that there are ways to make the journey a little less bumpy for the two of you. As a parent, you are in control of and responsible for their development as they navigate young adulthood and become their own individuals. To help you along the way, here are five tips that will help you keep your teen out of trouble and on the right path.

1. Provide them with the professional support they need.

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Adolescence is a period of growth and discovery, but it can also be one ripe with challenges. Teens are just beginning to figure out who they are, deal with peer pressure, and cope with difficult or confusing feelings they may have about themselves and others. Other teens may be dealing with serious problems at home or at school that can greatly impact their mental health. No matter what your teen may be going through, one way to provide them with the support they need is by enlisting the help of a mental health professional.

Therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy, can help your teen to recognize negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs that they may be experiencing. It can also allow them to learn coping mechanisms and cultivate the awareness needed to overcome the challenges they may be facing. Beyond any specific problem they may encounter, going to therapy will allow them to vent any frustrations and learn skills that they can use whenever they find themselves overwhelmed. There are many types of therapy, so whatever your teen may need is out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about finding a therapist for your adolescent, if you don’t know if you should be finding a cbt therapist, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist, it’s all right. When you reach out to a reputable organization like the Therapy Group of NYC for help, they’ll work with you to find the best fit for your teen.

2. Help them get into extracurricular activities

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Teens who have a substantial amount of free time and energy may not know what to do with themselves. As a result, they may turn to less desirable activities in order to fill this time. Rather than letting this be a potential development, be proactive and help your child find an extracurricular activity they can get into. For example, if your teen has expressed an interest in golf, sign them up for local organizations or their school team, help them get the necessary equipment by doing things like finding single length irons for sale, and getting them the training they need to truly enjoy their chosen activity. An extracurricular activity will provide them with the outlet they need to express themselves and get rid of some of their energy! Make sure they have the golf clubs they need to minimize strokes and maximize the fun they’ll be having as part of a team.

3. Maintain boundaries while allowing freedom.

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Setting limits is a part of parenting. As a parent, you are the head of the household, and there are rules and expectations that you should have and enforce. However, some parents may be overprotective, preventing their teen from gaining some of their own independence and moving into young adulthood. Make sure to give your child the freedom and the trust they have earned but don’t let them set the rules or push boundaries that are not okay.

4. Communicate with your teen.

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Maintaining your relationship with your teen is important. Even if they may not feel like doing it, most people grow up to realize that their relationship with their parents is what kept them grounded and helped them become the healthy, thriving adult that they are today. Schedule regular times to communicate with your child, learn more about their interests, and do things that you both enjoy doing. Though they won’t always admit it, they will enjoy this time as well.

5. Try to see their point of view.

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In our society, we are often taught to fear negative emotions. Although you shouldn’t tolerate disrespect and rudeness, healthy arguments and debates are to be expected as your teen grows up. Use these opportunities to help your teen figure out why they are angry, understand their side of things, and then let them utilize their problem-solving skills to either negotiate, empathize, or understand why their way of seeing or doing things may not be the best. Parents who shut down their children and prevent them from expressing their point of view may be doing harm than good. This kind of closed-door policy may cause them to do what they want, since they don’t feel that they’re being heard.

Adolescence can be hard, but it doesn’t have to result in bad behavior and revolt. If you are a parent looking to make sure that your child makes smart, healthy choices, use the parenting advice above to steer your teens in the right direction.
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Just for Teens: A Short Guide to Shopping

7-Tips-Just-For-Teens-Before-Shopping-and-Spending-MoneyAs a teenager, you’re just heading out into the world. Shopping may be something you’ve never really experienced before. If this is you, here are some useful tips on how to shop.

Bring Someone Along

A good friend or family member can help you stay safe in shopping malls, parking lots and other areas. After all, you can’t trust everyone you meet. Besides this, they may be able to give you smart advice on what to buy.

Spend Money Wisely

Try setting a budget so you can figure out how much money you can comfortably spend. Leaving the credit cards at home is a wise idea if you don’t want to spend more money than you have. Only bring cash so this is all you can use.

Create a List

Before you leave the house, make a list of the items you want to buy. This way, you won’t have to think about it when you’re shopping. For example, consider what’s right for you by wondering, “What kind of gifts would a teenage girl like?” You might want to do some internet research, so you’re sure what to purchase.

Visit a Store

You can visit your favorite stores or head to one you’ve never been to before. No matter what, make sure each place you visit is in a safe part of town. For your safety, have fun in an age-appropriate way.

Start Looking Around

Once you find a store you like, walk inside and begin looking at the stuff. You might need new shoes for gym practice, a winter coat or nail polish among other things. Then, you can walk to the product you might need or want.

Examine Products

Once you’ve found an item you might want, examine the details and ask yourself questions. For example, does this jacket fit my personality? If the gift goes against any values or beliefs you have, ask yourself if it’s worth buying.

Try Stuff On

If there’s a dressing room, you can pick clothes off the rack and try them on in here. Moreover, before you buy something, make sure it fits well, is age-appropriate and looks appealing. Further, feel the fabric to see if it’s itchy, and might be too rough for your skin. For shoes, try walking around in them for a while so you know whether they’ll be comfortable enough for your purposes.

Consider Asking for Help

If you feel comfortable asking a salesperson for help, then go ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers, you may want to judge for yourself. You can also wait until you arrive back home to research the internet for your answer.

Purchase Items You Want

It’s usually best to only buy an item if you’re entirely sure you want it. Consequently, you can splurge on something, but then you might end up wasting your own time returning it. Therefore, make wise spending decisions and make your life a lot easier.
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New Driver On The Road: Its Your Teen

 New-Driver-On-The-Road-Its-Your-TeenEvery parent will experience it and we were teens once but when it comes to our own kids we have those doubts that they will be able to navigate busy streets and highways. It all becomes about defensive driving. And will it be your car they are driving or will they have their own to start out with?

First what the experts say:

From Edgar Synder  Statics shows there are young drivers between 15- and 20-years-old accounted for 6.4% (13.2 million) of total drivers on the road. An average of nine teens ages 16-19 was killed every day from motor vehicle injuries. 2,739 drivers ages 15-20 were killed and an additional 228,000 were injured in crashes.

So what can you teach them they might not be aware of.

Here are tips I shared with my kids while they were learning to drive.

Buckle Up

First, stay alert, keep your eyes moving

Keep your hands on the wheel.

Watch for slow-moving traffic

Read the road signs

Maintain the proper speed and keep a safe distance

At a stop (you should be able to see the rear tires of a car in front of you)

Becoming a good driver takes time behind the wheel and with experience and some luck, your teen will gain the skills. I had 1 rule for my teens when they first started driving, and that was they were not allowed to have friends with them when they drove for at least 3 months, and when I felt they were driving responsibly I would allow 1 friend.

There are other things that your teen should be warned about when driving:

Being courteous to others, like when they signal to move over, let them in.

Be sure other drivers see you, use your turn signals, don’t assume drivers know what you are doing

Navigating through construction areas: As a driver watch for construction barricades which are bright orange along the road.

If they ever feel upset, frustrated or anger to pull over and take a break.

Be a good example while driving with your teen. As an example, when getting ready to get on the freeway, how to merge into traffic, bringing the car up to speed with traffic or getting off the freeway, to give yourself time for the existing coming up to be in the right lane.

Something I always did was let my kids drive me on errands, so they had time to spend behind the wheel. Every time they spend driving with you being supervised is an opportunity to gain experience. And with some time, your teen will turn into a safe driver, like you!
[…]
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Everything Parents Should Know About Distracted Driving

Everything Parents Should Know About Distracted Driving

Everything Parents Should Know About Distracted DrivingAs a parent, when you have a child who’s preparing to get their license, it can feel overwhelming and emotional. There’s also a sense of anxiety and fear that comes with it. Knowing the risks and then working with your teen to proactively avoid these risks is one of the best ways you can prepare your teen to drive.

Distracted driving is one of the biggest risks, not just teens, but all of us face behind the wheel. However, teens may be more prone to distracted driving. Drivers younger than 20 have the highest rates of distraction-related fatal car crashes, in fact.

The following offers an overview of what all parents should know about distracted driving.

The Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving led to the deaths of 3,166 people just in 2017.

The Zebra company conducted a survey in March 2019 about distracted driving.

According to that survey, 37% of respondents who were aged 18 to 34 said they felt a high level of pressure to answer text messages related to work while driving and one in three female drivers said they’d taken photos while behind the wheel.

10% of iPhone users said they’d watched YouTube videos while driving as well.

58% of crashes that involve teen drivers are attributed to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving. Around nine people are killed every day because of distracted driving, and more than 1,000 are injured every day.

Types of Distraction

Distracted driving is a broad term, and there are three primary categories of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

These types of distracted driving include manual distraction, which is when a driver takes his or her hands off the wheel to reach for something, adjust something in their car or pet their dog. A visual distraction stems from something like looking at a text message or speaking to someone else in the car. A cognitive distraction is when someone’s mental attention isn’t on driving and is instead on some other part of their life.

Specific examples of distracted driving, along with the use of a mobile device for phone calls or texting include:

  • Using entertainment devices while driving
  • Taking selfies or posting on social media
  • Grooming including putting on makeup
  • Eating
  • Driving while being upset
  • Reading

Teens and Cell Phones

The use of cell phones is the primary reason for distracted driving among teens. Teens often have a sense of being invincible, so they may think an accident will never happen to them. As a parent, there are certain apps you can install on your teen’s phone that will prevent or at least reduce the likelihood that they’re distracted because of their mobile device when they’re behind the wheel.

Examples of apps that you might have your teen install on their phone to prevent distracted driving include Safe Drive and Drivemode.

With Safe Drive, users earn points when they don’t use their phones while driving. They can then use those points to get product discounts when they make purchases.

With the Drivemode app, users can speak to send a text as well as playing music from their phones and starting their navigation. They can also do a voice search for contacts and destinations, and they can add their favorite contacts and destinations to make searching easy.

The app automatically connects to Apple Music too.

What Parents Can Do

As a parent, you may feel helpless when it comes to preventing distracted driving accidents, but you aren’t.

First, you are a model for your teens’ behaviors, and this includes how they drive. Always practice safe, mindful driving yourself. Don’t let your teen see you eating behind the wheel, texting or doing anything else that increases your risk of being in an accident.

You should also set your own household rules as far as when your teen can drive and who can be in the car with them. Some states have laws about these things, but if not, take it into your own hands.

Speak openly and honestly with your teen about the risks of driving and the behaviors they may be engaging in as well.

You should start addressing distracted driving with your teen early on before they have their full license. Speak about possible distractions and strategies to deal with them, and speak about your personal challenges when it comes to remaining distraction-free behind the wheel because it’s an issue that affects everyone and not just teens.

Encourage your teen to pull over if they need to use their device, eat or do anything else constituting distracted driving.

Finally, once your teen gets his or her license to keep checking in with them about safe driving habits.
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Related:
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