Having conversations with teenagers can at times be hard, but here are 7 conversations worth having with your teenagers.
Conversations you need to have with your Teenager Before they Start High School.
I can’t believe I will be sending my oldest off to High School in a matter of a few weeks! It seems like just yesterday he was running around in diapers. Do you feel like parenting is getting harder as our kids get older? I feel like it changes as our kids get older. We go from taking care of all their needs, to teaching them how to be a little independent when they become school age kids. Then they hit their teenage years and they are so independent and want to do everything without asking for help or your opinion!
When they hit their teenage years I think every parent prays that they have taught their kids enough and instilled values in their lives to have them be successful! Here are 7 conversations tough conversations you need to have with your teens before they start high school.
Who Are You?
The first conversation with teenagers you should have is who they are! Teach your teen who they are and their worth. They need to know who they are. It is not a matter of what sports they play, or how popular they are. It doesn’t even matter how good of a student they are. What matters is what is on the inside. Teach them where they came from and where they are going. The better they feel about who they are the better they will be at overcoming hard things they will face.
Teach them to be confident. To stand proud, and do what they know is right. When they know their individual worth, others will treat them with this same value and worth!
It is important that your teen carries themselves with the image they want others to see. Teach your girls to dress how they want to be seen. Our outward appearance sends a message. So, teach your teen to ask the question, “What kind of message am I sending?” with my dress, appearance, attitude, language, and actions?
Finding Good Friends
Another conversation with teenagers you should have is how to find good friends. Talk about the qualities of good friends. Chat with them why it is important to have good friends that hold your values and beliefs. Talk to them about what a true friend is and explain the importance of being this to their friends.
It is sad that our teens have so much Peer Pressure around them. Talk to them about how to handle peer pressure and what to do when they are in a situation where peer pressure is present! Use these tips to talk with your teen about Peer Pressure.
Drugs and Alcohol
As parents, we don’t want to think our teens will ever be in a position where they will be faced with drugs and alcohol. Nor do we ever want to think our teen will try drugs or alcohol. But the reality is, they will be faced with this challenge if they have not already! 68% of all seniors in high school have tried alcohol. 22% of High Schoolers have ridden in a car with someone who has been drinking. When it comes to drugs, 44% of all high school students know of someone they can buy drugs from at school. Now is the time to talk to them about drugs and alcohol. Here are some tips to have an easier conversation with teenagers when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
How to Treat the Opposite Sex
This is probably one of the most difficult conversations with teenagers you will have. Our teens live in a very hard world. A world where girls like to send pictures to the boys to get more attention. (I promise it’s not all the girls fault on this one.) Where boys promote girls to look a certain way and act a certain way.
Teach your boys to respect girls. Encourage them to treat them with love and decency. Teach your boys to speak kindly to and about girls. Sally’s body doesn’t need to be the topic of conversation in the locker room. Talk with them about how to handle the feelings they have in regards to girls. Share with them what is appropriate and not.
Teach your girls to respect the boys. Have conversations with your girls about how they act and dress encourages thoughts and emotions that they might not want boys to have. Talk with them about how to handle the feelings they have in regards to boys. Share with them what is appropriate and not.
Some Thoughts on Social Media and Texting
Teach your teens that everything they do is a reflection on them. Teens make dumb choices sometimes and take risky pictures and send it to one person. The next thing you know, the whole school has seen that picture, and guess what? They can’t take it back! Remind them if a naked picture of someone ends up on their phone, iPad, or the computer it is child pornography and not only will they be charged with this, but you will as well as a parent.
Nothing is safe online. Everything will be held against them. Scare the poop out of them, and tell them if you ever find this on their electronics you will take them away forever and enforce all kinds of punishments! If they receive a naked picture of someone tell them to delete it immediately and block the number that sent it. Tell them to come to talk to you so you can help them in this situation.
This is one of the most dreaded conversations with teenagers that all parents hate to have! But it is one of the most crucial. It is important to talk to your kids about sex. Your teens need to know what it is. This needs to be done gradually based on their maturity level. You don’t want to word vomit about sex to your teen that is not ready. On the other hand, you want to discuss with more mature teens what sex entails.
I remember learning about what sex was on the track walking laps during my Freshman year of High School. My Mom had not had the chat with me yet probably because I was a pretty innocent girl. I was flabbergasted, to say the least. My innocence was gone… Speaking from someone who learned about sex this way, it is much better coming from a parent. So make the effort to talk to your kids about it.
Expectations When It Comes to Sex
In addition to talking about the physical act of sex, It is important to talk to your teen about your expectations when it comes to these types of relationships. Let them know your values on this subject. Help them create boundaries that fall within your family’s standards. We are old school, so expect that our kids will not have sex until they are married. Start praying now for our kids, okay? But on the other hand, we know they have free agency so we will help them be safe if they make a choice we don’t agree with.
Talk with your kids about abstinence, protecting themselves from diseases, and pregnancy. Be sure to make them aware of the consequences that could happen, including diseases and pregnancy. Explain that one night of “fun” could change their entire future.
It is especially important for us to teach our children to stand firm in their decision to stay clean. Give them the resources and the help to avoid peer pressure. Teach them to stand up for what they believe in when it comes to sexual relationships with others.
Lastly, have conversations with teenagers about their future. The future is bright! So, ask questions about what they want to do and what they want to become. Where do they want to go to college? Help them plan for these things. When teens have a vision of where they are going they are more likely to be successful long-term!
Our teens need us more than ever! We need to have these hard conversations with teenagers for their benefit! Even though our teens might grudgingly want to talk with us, they want to. And they need us! So, with that being said, grab your teen and go have a conversation with them! You’ll be glad you did!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!