Educate. Listen. Support.
Your children are your life; Protecting them is an on-going struggle that never really ends.
A child’s teen years are the most stressful for parents. It is the age when they are exposed to counter-culture ideas, their bodies are going through dramatic physical and chemical changes, they are under a huge amount of stress in terms of school and social belonging and they are given the opportunity to step behind the wheel of an automobile, possibly the most dangerous activity they will do in their lives. Throw these all in a pot and stir, then serve over an over-protective creator.
What can we do as parents? Educate. Listen. Support.
- If you want to limit the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, give them all the facts.
- Explain their body’s potential for change before it occurs so that they can articulate their concerns when it happens.
- Don’t push unreasonable academic expectations.
- Talk to them about their social life at school and on the internet.
- Pay for driving lessons.
And, most importantly, encourage a healthy sleep schedule. When your child is properly rested they will be much more likely to make reasonable decisions. Their bodies will have more energy to grow and change naturally. They will be able to stay awake during class, at home and when they’re with their friends. And, they will stay awake at the wheel; Drowsy driving is estimated to be responsible for 20 per cent of all car crashes in North America.
But how do you improve their sleep habits?
Three simple ways: Model and encourage consistent bedtimes, limit use of electronics before bedtime, make sure they have a proper mattress that offers adequate support.
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