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Advice For Teenagers

Updated on August 14, 2011
a proud moment - daughter's graduation speech
a proud moment - daughter's graduation speech

5 Most Important Things You Want Your Teenager To Know

5 Most Important Things You Want Your Teenager To Know

There are plenty of books out there to read about raising a teenager. And I do not confess to be an expert by any means. I'm just a teacher and a mom of now college age kids. And through the years I have lectured, counseled, and disciplined my kids like any other parent. But my children always knew they could talk to me about anything, good and bad. I may not have been the first they told, but they always talked to me eventually. And sometimes I even surprised them with the advice I gave them showing them different sides to their predicament. So as I thought about the question what’s your best advice to teenagers, i came up with the 5 most important things that my kids seemed to listen to and learn from.

1) Most important stay true to yourself and your own values. If it doesn't feel right or you're only doing it to impress someone else, then walk away. This includes hurting someone else or yourself by getting smashed at a party or high. Besides you can always blame it on the parents why you can't go.

2) Pick your friends carefully, take some time to observe classmates in and out of class, and get to know the ones that have similar interests, values, study habits that you have. Make sure they are the glass half full type of person. Ask yourself can I trust this friend to be there as a lifeline through life’s disappointments or even a broken heart. Can I trust this boyfriend or girlfriend to build me up and not control me or cheat on me?

3) Try to maintain balance in your life. Don't become so busy with homework, band, clubs and work that you have no time to relax. And on other side of scale don't spend so much time chatting on facebook or playing games that you don't keep up with your homework or bother to get a job.

4) Talk to your parents!! They were teenagers once (and yes maybe a long time ago) but some of the issues are still the same, a bad grade, being hurt by a friend you trusted, not making the goal you had set for yourself, or even being dumped by a girlfriend/boyfriend. And parents be open to that communication, try not to judge or lay on the guilt, yes we all forgot to think of consequences of our actions when we were that age.

5) Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. It’s not a race between you and your friends, who gets their ears pierced first, wears the most grownup makeup, or who loses their virginity first, all for the sake of notoriety or becoming popular. It’s a time of discovery, who you are or want to become, what you learn from the relationships that come into and go out of your lives, and lessons you learn from mistakes that inevitably get made at this age. So many students can’t wait till they are on their own, and then once they are, they think back on how much more fun life was while in high school or college. Enjoy the moment.

So for parents that have a hard time connecting with your child or don't know what to say to them, pick one of these tips to discuss the next time you are driving them to an activity or point them to this hub to read and ask them what seems applicable to them. I hope these 5 messages help in the challenges of raising your teenager.

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