The key to helping your teen make good choices at school is to train him up in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. The End.
Ha! Don't we wish it was that easy? Even with the best upbringing teens don't always make the best choices. Shoot, adults don't always make the best choices. So what can parents do to tip the scales in the teen's favor?
1. Talk Talk Talk. Even if your teen goes into silent mode, keep talking with your child.
2. Lead by example. You can't expect your teen to behave in a manner contrary to your own.
3. Depending on the situation, you may want to share some of your own examples of what happened when you didn't make good choices.
4. If your teen mentions that so and so was caught with drugs in his locker, or her friend had sex with someone she met at a party – don't immediately condemn or judge those people. Use their poor choices as a springboard for open dialog.
5. Make it easy for your teen to be honest with you. Reinforce that no matter what, you still love her.
6. Remind him that you'll be more disappointed if he lies to you, rather than by some behavior he chose to participate in.
7. Accept that your teen may make some poor choices. Let that experience be a lessons learned for both of you. Examine what led up to that decision.
8. Denial is not a river in Egypt. If you have blinders on, it's time to take them off. No teen is perfect. Look for warning signs.
9. Don't give your teen too many liberties. Respecting ones privacy is one thing, but you still need to be the parent. Once your teen moves out of the home, you won't have the authority you do now.
10. Give your teen unconditional love.
When storms come, don't waste oxygen with should haves and could haves. There's no point in playing the "it's all my fault" card. What benefit will that pity party bring?
If your teen thinks she needs to be perfect, examine where that thought pattern originated. Some teens make poor choices because they rebel or because they don't feel they can live up to mommy's and daddy's expectations.
All you can do is your very best. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror and know that you've provided your child with all the tools she needs to be a happy, well balanced teenager.
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