Talking to Your Teen – The “Preventative Medicine”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Want to try and prevent many ills your preteen, teen, tween may develop?? Start by doing a lot of talking, and more importantly, listening. Talking to your kids when they’re young about uncomfortable topics such as sex, inappropriate touches, relationship violence, bullying, smoking, drugs, alcohol, etc., may be just what the doctor ordered. Reports show that “middle schoolers” (and some younger) may be trying to deal with some of these issues already.

Studies show that kids want their parents help and information about these topics. Kids want parents to “paint a picture” of how their future might look, help them to set goals, and make realistic steps to reach those goals. Goals are more attainable when young people don’t have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy, STI (sexually transmitted infection) an addiction, or being bullied.

Parents, grandparents, or any other caregiver have to help young people think about their futures. In a Canadian study 43% of teens said their parents are their most useful and valuable source of information. Forty-Five percent of teens called their parents their role models.

The best method would be to start talking with your child while they are very young; then you have a platform from which to grow. BUT, anytime, is better than never. Put aside the embarrassment factor. This is your kid and these are important topics. Being the adult means you HAVE to be the one to start and continue these conversations. I say it’s much like the ever-on-going conversations about “flushing the toilet” or “turning off the lights”…these conversations have to be frequent! Use the TV shows, their music, or YouTube to open the door. Make the time, and help our kids find their way. Be patient, set an example, and be there for them if they fall. YOU are what the doctor (and your kids) ordered!

(Survey from nonprofit Canadian Assoc. for Adolescent Health)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.