Imperative Topics To Discuss With Your Teen – H&S Education & Parenting
5 Imperative Topics To Discuss With You Teen
As your child enters his/her teens there are some topics you MUST have with them even though they may not be easy to talk about. You need to have open and honest conversations about things because your child is exposed to a lot of things and the information he/she may be getting may not be true. Ignoring to have these imperative discussions with your teen may only lead to a lot more issues & so to avoid having your teen make mistakes and wrong decisions in life it’s important you sit them down and talk to them openly. You are the best source of true information for your teen and that’s why it’s necessary to have these discussions as early as possible.
1. Peer Pressure:
A lot of time children give in to peer pressure. To avoid this it’s important you have an open discussion about peer pressure. Let your child know that they don’t have to try to ‘fit in’ or please friends or certain people. Teach them that what they see as ‘cool’, ‘popular’, ‘happening’ are not what they necessarily believe. Teach them that they don’t need to please anyone at the cost of their own morals and/or beliefs. Teach them that peer pressure from the wrong company can result in poor judgements that can have a negative impact and as a result negative outcome.
This can be in many forms and it’s important to discuss with your child about bullying before they become a victim of bullying. Most of the time children run away from parents as they fear the reactions of their parents, for this reason, it’s better to talk about bullying and the different types including cyberbullying so that your child knows you are there for them. It is also important for parents to discuss what it means to be a bully and the repercussions of bullying someone. Let your child know that there is zero-tolerance for bullying.
3. Sex Education- Sexting, Pornography, Sex:
Sex education should be ongoing and should be discussed from a younger age but age-appropriately.
Sexting- This doesn’t involve physical contact but is an important sexual behaviour to discuss with your teen. Teach them how even though the world has become better with technology the same technology can also be used in a harmful way. It’s best to teach them that whatever they share with someone else can be used against them and what harmful effects this can have.
Pornography– This is a very important topic to discuss with your teen. Remember teens are at an age where they are curious to know more about their body and sex in general. This is natural because of the raging hormones during this age. To avoid having your teen turn towards pornography, it’s advisable to let them know what’s real and what’s expected in real-life relationships.
Sex- Today sex is part of the culture in many parts of the world. It’s in music, adverts, online etc. Teens have access to this and it’s, therefore, important to have open discussions about sex in general. This conversation can be one of the hardest to have with a teen but it’s very important that a parent talks about the different types of sex so that the teen isn’t misinformed. Talk about STDs with your teen and discuss safe sex, Now is the time to also talk about birth control openly along with the emphasis on using condoms for safe sex. Remember don’t stop your child as that is not a solution instead if it requires setting an appointment with the doctor to further educate them as well as teach them about their choices, do it! You’d rather educate your child appropriately then have to deal with teenage pregnancy. Consent should always be emphasised and not all children are ready to date or have sex, so it is also good to help protect your child against unwanted pressures.
4. Drugs & Alcohol:
Remember drugs prescription & illicit drugs and alcohol too are something that needs to be discussed with teens. It’s also important to talk about how drugs and alcohol can impair one’s decision and make one take regretful steps. Teens of today are not the same as teens a decade ago. Today teens have become more creative and know how they can introduce alcohol into their bodies be it by eating infused alcohol candies or from inserting tampons that are soaked in alcohol which can be very dangerous. It’s therefore important that parents have the talk and let their child know about the dangers of alcohol and its effects on the body. Even though parents should be aware that their teen may experiment it’s still important that you share the information with them, and also it’s good to empower your children, talk to them about your childhood experiences and how you handled them. Establish a friendly bond where your child is happy to approach you and ask questions rather than he/she fears you as a strict parent.
This is another difficult topic to discuss with teens. But it’s important parents open up and break the stigma that is attached to this topic. Depression is real and for this reason, it’s necessary that your teen knows about depression & how it affects a person. Again only if you establish a close bond with your child making them feel safe and letting them know that it’s okay to share how they feel then only will you be able to intervene before it gets too late.