Ways to Protect Your Teen
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
It can be difficult to let your teen grow up.
You want him to try new things, to gain experience and self-esteem, but to stay safe while he does it. Here are some ways to protect your teen without stifling his burgeoning independence.
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10. Discuss Designer Stimulants
More and more drugs come with names like “potpourri” and “bath salts.” Some teens don’t view these as “real” drugs, and feel confident in experimenting with them. After all, they wonder, how bad could it be if you can buy them at the local gas station? Unfortunately, headlines blare the tragic consequences of these designer stimulants. There are drug test kits available to help you find out if your child is taking bath salts before he becomes the main character in tabloid fodder.
9. Create Curfews
If there is any truth to your teen’s anguished protests, it seems that more and more teens are no longer inhibited by a curfew. While it might not necessarily help your child’s popularity, there is evidence to suggest that having a curfew in place can keep your teen safer than those allowed unfettered access to late-night temptations. Discuss your expectations with your teen and consider making accommodations for special events.
8. Know Their Friends
It is easy to lose track of your teen’s friends and classmates, but it is important to know these people who can be such an influence. When friends make an appearance at your home, talk to them, ask open ended questions, and give them your attention. It is amazing what they will tell you if you simply act interested. Too often, no one actually bothers to listen.
7. Be Cyber Safe
Kids can be quick to latch on to new friends, to tell them too much—often before they even know if someone is trustworthy. This is especially true with internet acquaintances. Remind your teen to never provide their “virtual friends” with too much identifying information, such as their full name, address, or the name of the school they attend. Since it can be impossible to tell if the individual on the internet is actually who they claim to be, your child might inadvertently be providing personal information to someone wanting to take advantage of them.
6. Safe Sex
Whether you personally believe in abstaining from premarital sex, or if you simply want your child to make safe and well-informed choices, it can be a difficult discussion to have. Education can help prevent unintended, and sometimes dangerous, consequences. By keeping communication option, and avoiding judging your teen, you can help them navigate the tricky waters of teen love.
5. No Questions Asked
If your teen finds himself in a compromising or dangerous situation, it can be helpful to have a plan in place to help him extract himself. Consider having a code word that he can call and give you, or text to you, to let you know that he needs to get picked up from wherever he is. If your teen understands that he has a way to gracefully get out of a bad situation, it can be easier to make good choices.
4. Keep Your Jock Off the Juice
High school athletics are more competitive than ever, and it can be tempting for teens to resort to steroid use in order to optimize their performance. If you suspect your teen of “taking one for the team,” consider steroid testing.
3. Help Them Choose NOT to Booze
Alcohol can cause teens to neglect school work, make poor choices, and put themselves in dangerous situations. Talking to your child about the effects, and consequences, of alcohol can help them make wise choices. If you suspect your child of imbibing, consider an alcohol test kit to confirm your suspicions.
2. Lock the Medicine Cabinet
While you cannot control or monitor every aspect of your teen’s life, you can keep temptation a bit further from their reach. Make sure to lock the medicine cabinet and store medication such as pain pills, muscle relaxers, and ADD medication in a secure location. If you suspect that your child has gotten into your medication, there are Pain Pill Test Kits that allow you to determine if there is a problem before it escalates.
1. Discuss the Reality of Date Rape
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Teen parties often teem with free flowing beverages of the alcoholic variety. Lowered inhibitions are a frequent side effect. However, a slip of the wrist—a quick addition when no one is looking—can make the night more like a nightmare. Educate your teens about never living a drink unattended, never attending a party alone, and never letting their guard down.
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