Teens today live in a world with many opportunities to find success in life. The influence that you have on your teenager helps them to take advantage of tools that make it possible to achieve their dreams. While your teen may feel like they know many things, the truth is that they still need guidance to become fully independent. Providing help with these five areas gives your teen the best possible start in life.
Create a Plan for Their Education
By the time that your teen hits high school, they are ready to begin making decisions about their college education. Although things may change, knowing what type of career your teen is interested in can help them to take classes in high school that put them on the right track. Your teen’s academic counselor can help to put together a four-year plan that outlines core courses and electives that fit their preferred career path.
Teach Them How to Protect Their Health
Teenagers are at an age where they manage many aspects of their hygiene and health on their own. However, they still need guidance about new health concerns that arise during this age range. Teens are often known to engage in risky behaviors. Talk to your teen about safe driving practices. It’s an ideal time to open up a dialogue about substance abuse. If you suspect that your teen has a problem with drugs or alcohol, then treatment for teen substance abuse is available to help them before it spirals out of control. Health talks should be ongoing, and keeping an open atmosphere makes it more likely that your teen will come to you when there is a problem.
Discuss How to Make Smart Financial Decisions
Money management is another area where teens are primed to learn lessons to last a lifetime. Many teens are getting their own money through work or gifts from family members for their birthdays. Help your teen develop a plan for establishing a savings account along with a budget for spending. You can also begin to share financial tips with your teen about how to start planning for their retirement. This way, they’ll be prepared to start making investments in their future at an earlier age.
Find Acceptable Options for Them to Build a Work History
Every parent has their preferences regarding teens and working. If you prefer that your teen focuses on school, then they may still be able to work during the summer. Or, your teen could begin building work skills through volunteering—teens who work or serve the public in some way learn how to interact within the workplace. Having personal references can also help your teen find better jobs in the future or stand out on college applications.
Help Them Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress
For many teens, these years are a stressful time. They’ll also deal with challenges throughout their adulthood. Teaching your child good practices for stress management helps them navigate challenging times without having to turn to negative behaviors. Help your teen cultivate hobbies that bring them joy, and offer opportunities to try new stress management techniques. Meditating, running, and practicing yoga are all things that your teen can do to feel better when times get tough.
Teens sometimes struggle as they begin to make the transition into adulthood. Staying alert for signs that your teen needs extra guidance gives you the chance to address challenges before they get out of control. Continuing to help your teen learn how to manage their health, relationships, and money help them build a strong foundation for the rest of their life.