The teenage years of any of our children’s lives are mightily important. It’s where we begin to learn about ourselves, the wider world and start to shape ourselves as adults.
Parents play a huge responsibility in that, as we all know too, and we always try and drop our kids that little bit of wisdom.
However, we also need to sit down and have some pretty serious chats with our kids too, and they are talks many parents turn the other cheek and avoid.
In a world where the internet is prevalent and TV shows and movies are more explicit than ever, those conversations need to be had. But what should we be talking about with our teens?
1 The Sex Talk
We’ll start with the most awkward one, but also one of the most important, not just so you can make your child aware of the importance of protection and safe sex, but so much more than that.
Especially in today’s day and age where many people in the mainstream are hitting the headlines due to being disrespectful and unlawful when it comes to sex, you need to teach your child about compassion, respect and what’s right and wrong when it comes to consensual and non consensual.
2 The Alcohol & Drugs Talk
Another must-have discussion is the one about alcohol and drugs. It can be a difficult conversation to have with a teenager, especially if you yourself are a drinker and you’ve dabbled with drugs.
That’s why honesty is the best policy with this talk. Discuss the dangers of alcohol and drugs and the fact it can lead down a path of addiction where they may spend some of their early adult life in a drug detox clinic, trying to get clean from them.
If you have experienced such things, discuss your experiences and how drugs or alcohol ruined your life, while also how rehab changed it for the better, while it can also be useful to discuss any bad experiences you or people you know have had.
That openness and honesty will prompt questions, but they are much more likely to be engaged with you and take what you’re saying on board.
3 Respect for your Peers
It’s likely that you’ll think your teen is respectful and believes in equality, and that is also probably true. But you only need to look on social channels like TikTok and Facebook to see how easy it is for teenagers to fall into the disrespect trap, all in aid of “banter”.
Bullying or disrespecting somebody in school or work because of their race, gender, beliefs, sexuality or anything else could impact that person for the rest of their lives - something of which many teens do not think about!
It will aid them through the rest of their lives and make them more employable, more empathetic, more caring and an all round better human being.