Dealing with a mature teenagers is a frying task. They are not toddlers who can be distracted and neither are they fully grown adults who you can reason with.
Here, we will discuss two strategies for behavior change in adolescents.
They will help in making your interactions pleasant and effective.
The goal is to help with the challenges of parenting a teenager.
What you need to know
Firstly, you have to know that adolescence is a period of engaging in risky behaviors. The risky behaviors include a long list such as using or abusing alcohol, cigarette smoking, driving recklessly, engaging in unprotected sex, engaging in illegal activities such as trespassing and shoplifting, not wearing seat belts or helmets, drinking and driving, and being the perpetrator or victim of physical violence while dating.
A very large percentage of adolescents say that they text while driving.
What can be done about this and how to reduce this risky behavior.
Research tells us that risky behavior is greatly influenced by several factors but two are especially worth noting.
First is the presence of peers. When with peers, the likelihood of doing something risky is much greater.
Second is not being monitored by parents. That also increases the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. Now monitoring does not mean hovering over them all the time, rather it means keeping a track of where your child is, what she is doing and who is she with.
Outside the home, it’s important to know where your child is going after school or on weekends. You may think your child is at someone’s place with a parent there but perhaps your child is not in that house. Or is in that house with no parent to supervise.
Second characteristic is brain development.
Let us begin with the fact that the brain is not fully developed in adolescence and during this period it is developing unevenly.
There is an unevenness in brain development because sensation seeking develops early and decision making develops later. This means that the drive to act impulsively develops before the ability to control that impulsive behavior.
How can you help
As a parent it is important to know that these changes in the brain are real and can readily influence many things parents are concerned about. The brain has not yet developed to control behavior as much as we would like to.
It is very important for parents to ensure that their child passes through this stage without any major crisis.
Just remember to interact calmly, engage in respectful conversations and spend quality time together!