At-risk behavior is common amongst teenagers. It refers to any type of behavior which can adversely impact upon the teen. It can involve drugs, alcohol, sexual behavior, anger at teachers and parents and other things. As a parent you need to be aware of the dangers facing your teen and, more importantly, what you can do to remove your child from the at-risk category.
There are many issues which you can examine to see if you are raising a healthy teenager. Try the following questions and discover the state of your relationship with your child.
Diet. Do you know what your teen has for breakfast? Are you around when they eat their morning meal? Is it a healthy breakfast? Do you know about their eating habits when at school? Obesity and body shape are important issues for young people today and knowing the diet of your child can help you assess their at-risk status with these conditions.
Peer pressure. Is your teen subject to the influence of their friends? Are you able to help them understand responsibility and acting independently? Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are issues for most teens today. Help your teen make decisions for him or herself based on the facts about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol.
Is your teen in good physical shape? Do they play sports or exercise regularly? Spending much time sitting and watching TV or being alone on their computer are not good signs of a healthy mind and body. Encourage you child to become active and outgoing. Why not share family activities in these fields?
Is your family a unit? Do you take time to do things as a family? While teens want to be independent and go out with their friends, keeping some time for the family helps build relationships and allows your teen to be removed from any at-risk situations.
Do you encourage your teen to take responsibility? If they are allowed to drive do they take the matter seriously and know the rules and etiquette of the road laws? Are they showing a mature attitude to others and treating other drivers with respect? Giving responsibility to your teen is an excellent way to remove them from at-risk behavior and build their self-esteem.
Is your relationship with your child growing? As children grow and become less dependent on their parents, they may drift apart. Because your child is growing up that is no reason to stop growing your relationship. It may change but it should remain strong and evolve with time. Good relationships steer your child away from at-risk behavior.
Are you setting a good example for your child? You cannot expect your teen to have a clean and tidy room, to speak respectfully to people and to shun abusive substances if you fall down in these areas. Many children copy their parents so giving a solid lead in decency and restraint will stand your teen in good stead.
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