Being supportive of your child is important. It helps them to build confidence in themselves so that they can have the best future possible. Unfortunately, too much encouragement or encouragement after doing the wrong things can turn toxic and bread a situation for them to turn to drug abuse. The following guide walks you through a few tips you can use to make sure that you are providing your teen with the support they need and are tough when you need to be.
Stay Active in Your Child’s Life
Many parents of teens make the mistake of giving their child too much independence too soon. Stay active in your teen’s life so that you can know what is going on. Children are more likely to tell you about issues when they arise when they have a good relationship with you. Take them to the movies, go out to eat one on one or even go to a concert to see their favorite band.
Set Consequences for Mistakes
Teens make mistakes from time to time. It is inevitable. Ensuring that there are reasonable punishments in place when they do make mistakes helps them to learn that there are consequences for the choices that they make. You would rather your child learn about consequences when it simply gets them grounded for a few weeks rather than learning about consequences through the court system. Be sure to set reasonable punishment for the mistake that they made. Being unreasonable causes resentment rather than understanding.
Monitor Your Child’s Activities
It’s important to take the time to make sure that you know what your child is doing at all times. Monitor your child’s activities and check up on them from time to time. When children know that they are trusted fully, it often gives them leeway to do things that they shouldn’t do because they become entitled and think that they won’t get caught. Randomly show up at a practice, check your child’s internet history and go through their phone on a regular basis to make sure they aren’t doing anything that they shouldn’t be doing.
Push Your Child to be Their Best
Children need support and encouragement at any age. Don’t be afraid to set expectations for your child and hold them to it. Set goals in school. Be sure that your child is able to meet those goals and if they aren’t providing them with the tools that they need to be able to meet them, such as hiring a tutor if needed. Assign chores that they need to do. Being responsible for cleaning around the house provides them with skills that they are going to need later in life when they are living on their own.
Don’t Bail Your Child out Constantly
If your child does get into trouble at school or at the law, don’t try to bail them out constantly. If your child knows that you will do everything in your power to get every consequence dropped when they make a mistake, it makes them entitled and hampers them as adults. They will have no respect for authority or the law. This could land them in prison because they don’t know when to listen and obey because they never had to do it when they were younger.
Listen to Advice from Others
It can be hard to hear negative things about your child. Take the time to listen to other adults in your child’s life when they say that they think something is wrong with them. Teachers, parents of their friends and even coaches may be able to provide you with a view of your child that you may not see. Taking advice from them could help you to protect them from making poor decisions such as drinking or using drugs.
Pay Attention to Your Child’s Friends
The teens that your child hangs out with tells you a lot about them. Pay attention to the people that your child associate with because it will give you insight into the things that your child is doing when they are away from you. If it is obvious that a teen is using drugs and your child is hanging out with them, there is a good chance that your child is using drugs too. You want to be sure to try to keep your child away from any teens who are using drugs or drinking to decrease the chances of them doing it too.
Conduct Drug Tests When Needed
If you think that your child is using drugs, don’t be afraid to drug test them. There are at-home drug test kits available at most drug stores that you can use to test your child at home. If you are fearful that it won’t be accurate or that you don’t want to do it yourself, you can take your child to their doctor to have the testing done. Finding out if your child is using drugs or not is important. You want to get them help for drug use as quickly as you can to decrease chances of them becoming a lifelong addict.
Notice Changes When They Happen
It’s also important to pay attention to the attitude and physic of your child. You need to notice changes when they occur because they could be a sign of something that is happening in their life. Extreme weight loss can indicate drug use or an eating disorder. Extreme fluctuations in attitude could be an indicator of a mental health condition or drug use that needs to be treated. Paying attention to changes ensures you can get them the help they need when they need it.
There is no tried and true handbook to follow as a parent. You have to do what you think is best for your child and know that you are going to make mistakes along the way. Taking the time to make sure that you do everything you can to help them grow into the best person they can is essential. Coddling them or doing everything for them isn’t going to help them in the end.