Teenagers are fascinating young men and women, but at the end of the day, they are still children who need help navigating the world around them. You want them to be independent, but you also want them to be safe. It can be easy to fall into two parental extremes: overbearing or too relaxed. Striking that balance is hard but will come with time. In the meantime, here are some teenager safety tips:
At some point in your teenager’s life, you will leave them home alone. It can be tough, especially the first time, but you need to learn to trust them otherwise they will never learn. You will not always be able to bail them out.
Make sure you have left them with your phone number and other emergency numbers so they can get in touch if they need to. Make sure they know how to arm and disarm the home security system, as well as know how to contact a home security monitor. Companies such as Home Security Town provide monitored home security systems that will give you piece of mind when your teen is home by themselves.
Teenagers are connected like never before and for every amazing internet development, there is a potentially dangerous pitfall. Teenagers need to know the dangers and how to protect themselves and their family. Even though it can be uncomfortable, you need to have a conversation with your teenager about the potential dangers:
As your children get older, they will become more independent and, at times, resistant to the way you do things. This is a natural progression of their development, but that does not mean that they still do not need structure. Having said that, you cannot exert so much control over their lives that they are sheltered. You need to find a balance and if you are stuck, you want to consider reading my article about reigning in unruly teenagers.
Finding balance starts before they even become teenagers. Establish good safety habits in your children when they are very young and it will naturally continue as they get older. One example, make sure they come home directly after school before going out to meet friends or the like. Ensure that they know they need to keep in touch with you at regular intervals so you know where they are and what they are up to.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your teenager’s behavior and the consequences. You need to insist on being aware of where they are and what they are doing, even at home when they surf the internet. At the time, your teenager might not like it, but in time they will understand that you were doing it to protect them. It can be difficult to find the balance between allowing them independence while not being too overbearing, but if you remain consistent, you can honestly say you did everything you could to keep your teenagers safe.