When you’re a teenager, let’s face it. Nothing makes sense. Your hormones are out of control and so are your emotions. You feel intensely about everything. There is pressure from school and pressure from your peers to fit in. Everyone wants to be loved and cherished. In pursuit of this or to fill its absence, a lot of kids end up making bad decisions. Whether it’s dangerous teen habits they can’t break or one giant screw-up, teenagers find themselves in less-than-preferrable situations. Below are some of these bad decisions and how to help your teen through them.
Drinking alcohol is one of the most dangerous teen habits because it can lead to alcoholism. If a kid drinks too early, it could reset the course of their life. When a teenager drinks for the first time, some of them feel like all their problems have been solved. Some feel a relief they’ve never felt. They can talk to people and socialize without being too self-conscious. They can mitigate anxiety and depression. They can feel like themselves.
A great way to help your teenagers through the initial steps in drinking is to expose them to alcohol healthily. When they reach a certain age and it’s a nice dinner, let them have a glass of wine. Show them that drinking alcohol is a privilege and something to be appreciated, not used to overcome emotional and social obstacles.
One of the biggest problems with teenagers today is that pornography is readily available. For parents, it was a different world. You’d be lucky to get your hands on a magazine. These days, it’s everywhere. You don’t have to look hard. Just about any teenager knows how to find porn on the internet. While you can’t isolate them from the internet, you can do your best to limit this exposure.
For example, only allow them access to computers and tablets out in the open. Disable pornography on the internet network. You can use a safety lock on their phones. Even after all this precaution, teenagers will still be able to watch porn somewhere, but the longer you can hold it off the better. We know a little about the psycho-sexual problems that could arise from engaging with the pornography of today at a young age.
Most kids smoke marijuana for the first time in high school, but these teenagers probably have access to a lot more drugs than you think. Pills are easy to carry around, and it has been evident that the young people idolize some of the people who have lost their lives to them. Psychedelic drugs aren’t as dangerous, but if you take much too early in your life the teenager could be irrevocably changed. Hopefully, more powerful street drugs aren’t available.
When you want to see to it that your teenager doesn’t do drugs, you should have lengthy discussions about it. You should explain to them the dangers of drugs and what happens to people who spend their lives getting high. Be honest. A little weed won’t kill you, but you don’t want to start off too fast. They have their whole lives to experiment if they choose to, it’s better to put it off as long as possible.
Perhaps the saddest bad decisions teenagers make is to hurt themselves. There are plenty of ways to do this but cutting is the most classic example. Teenagers cut for a lot of reasons, but most say it is a way for them to control their pain. It is a way to feel alive. It is a way to get attention or to hold a secret.
Most teenagers harm themselves because they are depressed, anxious, and dealing with a bad home life. If you think your teenager is hurting themselves, you should confront them about it. Getting to the deeper problems might be difficult, but if you show diligence, you will be able to care for your teenager.
Raising teenagers is never easy. There are many obstacles. Teens make bad decisions, but if you are talking to them, being open, and practicing compassion there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to guide your kids in the right direction—no matter how many bad decisions they make.