Teenagers, and How to Make Your Home a Safe Environment for Them
Parenting is a challenging situation for anyone. The experiment of raising children usually takes a sharp turn left or right when the teenage years strike, and it’s critical for parents to both anticipate and react in the appropriate manner.
Throughout a child’s life, the environment that he or she lives amongst will change on a daily basis. However, one constant in many children’s lives is their physical home. A child’s house is supposed to be a safe haven of support and security. This article is meant to explain ways to make a home the way it needs to be with the goal of setting a child up for success and keeping him or her safe, specifically during the teenage years. In 2013, parents around America and the rest of the world face many issues, and any advice can help push a young life in the right direction.
1. Guide them down a safe internet path
In 2013, the internet is intertwined throughout society in ways never seen before. This directly affects parenting and the lives of teenagers around the country. Over 90% of teens navigate the web on a regular basis. The internet is useful but it also houses information that can be detrimental during a crucial development stage in a child’s life.
It’s critical for parents to understand the potential of the internet, and not only relay the message to their children, but monitor their use. This doesn’t mean that the label “helicopter parent” needs to start floating around, and tactics a quick scan of the search history should be sufficient. Additional ways to track usage involve asking teenagers about social media use on a frequent basis. Questions followed by certain reactions can shed some serious light on a child’s internet activity.
If you are the parent or guardian of a teen, be sure to take the internet seriously. The typical teenager’s curiosity coupled with the information available on the web can quickly turn into a parent’s worst nightmare. Do your best to maximize transparency between you and your teenager when online activity is concerned. It will pay off for both of you in the end.
2. Limit open access to drugs and alcohol
The teenage years are chalk full of intense peer pressure and it’s important to recognize the hard facts. More than 60% of teens report that there are drugs involved with their school experience, and there are more deaths from prescription drugs than other powerful substances. This is serious stuff.
Drugs and alcohol are not only dangerous, but they are very prevalent throughout most facets of society. This is a major issue because these substances are actively promoted across society, pop culture and the world in general. Children naturally want to follow suit, and they don’t understand limits or ramifications. This is where you need to step in.
If you are the parent or guardian of a teen, make sure to restrict direct access to illegal drugs and underage alcohol consumption. Not only is it a healthier option for your children, but it also helps push them in a direction where they will receive a fair chance at life. Getting involved with these substances early on can really limit potential and create trouble later down the road.
3. Provide a forum for discussion
When teenagers are involved, communication is a key to safety. For one, children face many challenges in modern society. There is the pressure to fit in, to succeed and to feel “normal”. These expectations lead to unbearable pressure, and it’s your job as a parent to offer an environment at home where your child or children feel comfortable opening up to you. When children internalize and oppress anger, sadness or confusion many terrible things can happen. Reference the Boston bombings or the Sandy Hook shootings for recent examples. If these children had grown up in a home where their feelings and basic needs were met, these acts could have possibly been prevented.
If you are the parent or guardian of a teen, make sure to be there for them and make your house an environment where they feel comfortable. Life is already hard to navigate, and it becomes much more so when children don’t have a place to hide from the storm we call society. Expectations, violence and pressure form a whirlwind that is overwhelming, most specifically for teenagers.
Parenting is a magical experience that comes with serious obligation. The responsibilities of the role increase each time an act of violence or a premature death happens within our nation’s borders. It’s your job to try and battle back with the goal of providing our country’s youth with the environment they deserve.
Naomi Broderick is a professional writer who’s secure in her abilities and even more confident in her parenting. When she’s not juggling her three children in the front yard she writes for ProtectYourHome.com, a leader in home alarms.