If you haven't had the following conversations with your teen then it's time to work on a better approach to open communication.
If you've established that you and your teen are able to talk freely and openly here are four things every good parent needs to tell their teen:
Don't be afraid of disappointment
You can play a fundamental part when it comes to encouraging your teen to reach her dreams and potential. Teaching your teen to believe in herself largely depends on the influence you have on her through the way you demonstrate your own self-worth and determination.
Talk openly with them about your own personal goals. Discuss your work-related goals, future dreams and ideas. Even if what you’re aiming for doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped that doesn’t mean you can’t still show positive qualities. Perseverance, resilience and a keen sense of determination to try again are all contributing factors that can assist in his future success.
When you teach your child to push their boundaries you not only boost their confidence but you create a sense of security between parent and child. Even if it leads to disappointment when things don’t go according to plan you’ll have the opportunity to inspire their positivity and optimism for other alternatives.
If you can’t afford to pay in cash, you can’t afford it
Wants versus needs
Getting into debt is one of the biggest causes for divorce, nervous breakdowns and health issues. It’s not an easy topic to discuss but a good place to start is by pointing out the difference between needs and wants. Do you really need a new hair straighter or do you just want it?
Living on borrowed finance
If you need to loan or borrow money for something that you don’t really need right now you’re already getting into bad debt habits.
Your bad habits becomes theirs
Children start to observe their parent’s behaviours and your money problems become their money problems. If you’re constantly in debt or live off of borrowed money that you’re unable to settle, those traits are going to rub off on your child and the way they value money when they’re older.
You want your teen to be financially independent so that they always have a way out of something without having financial ties stopping them from reaching their goals.
Use a condom!
Conversations about sex are becoming more and more openly talked about between parents and their children. With that being said the importance of safety should form part of the primary lessons that you teach your teenager.
It's not just about unwanted pregnancy
Unwanted pregnancies are one thing, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are real and they’re becoming more and more of a problem among young sexually active adults.
Read more: Are you prepared for the sex talk?
If you can develop an approachable attitude towards sex education early in your teen’s life you’re more likely to help her develop a healthy attitude towards sex later on so that they have a clear understanding of it all.
Self-respect lies at the root of smart decision making when it comes to who your child chooses to have sex with and how they go about it. If they’ve learned to put their health and safety first they’ll understand the values behind practicing safe sex if and when they chooses to be sexually active with someone.
Quantity vs quality and friendships
For most teenagers friends play a significant part in the development and growth of their young life and a lot of their teenage years are shaped and determined by the people they choose to spend time with.
It's not about how many
There’s a big trend in school to collect as many friends as possible, but most of us in our late 20s and upwards eventually realise that it becomes impossible to keep up with every one of our friends from school. In fact not many of us are still as close to all of our school friends as we were when we were teenagers.
Friends come and go, just like the seasons
There’s never any guarantee when it comes to staying friends with someone for the rest of your life but it’s important to teach your teenager to value those who value him.
The best way to keep good friends is to consciously create random acts of kindness for the people you know.
Facebook is a great way to keep updated and in touch with your friends but encourage your teen to take communication a bit further every now. Communication between good friends usually goes beyond social media and involves phone calls and in person catch ups wherever possible.
What life lessons do you think are important to discuss with your teen? Send us your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.