Parents of Teenagers

 
Helping your child pursue their studies

Let’s face it. Being a teenager is tough. We’ve all been there. Having to deal with hormones and mood swings isn’t easy and sometimes mums and dads are seen to be a teenagers’ worst enemies. Studies might not be the most important thing on a teenager’s agenda but with a little effort, you can help your child do well at school and even pursue higher education. Here’s some tips you might wish to keep in mind:

   Praise your child when they’ve done something well
   Show interest in their school work as well as their hobbies
   Don’t pressure your teen. Encourage them to simply do their best
   Help set goals and follow a routine for studies.


Helping your child choose a career or job

Just as with helping your child with their studies, it is important not to pressure your teen into choosing a career or job. Speak to them to see what they would like to do or what interests or excites them. The University of Malta’s
website has an informative section on career paths and they might also wish to talk to a career advisor at the University. Introduce your teen to the classified pages in print and online newspapers. They’ll be able to get an idea of what jobs there are out there as well as begin to learn how to find a job. The Employment and Training Centre can also be a good starting point for job ideas and work experience.


Sexual and Reproductive Health and Relationships

Although sexual and reproductive health is taught in school, discussing sex with your children can help them make better choices. Let your teen know it’s OK to talk about sex whenever he or she has some questions. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about talking about sex, say so – your teenager will appreciate your honesty. Be direct though and move beyond the facts. Your teen needs to know the basics but feelings, attitudes and values are just as important. Consider your teen’s point of view and invite further discussion. Tell them to talk to you if they have any questions and reward them when they do by saying “I’m glad you came to talk to me.”
 
The same goes for relationships. Let your teen know it’s OK to talk about relationships with you and the difficult questions that sometimes come hand in hand with this. A common question is “How will I know I’m ready for sex?” Remind your teen that it’s alright to wait and that there are many other ways of showing affection such as hugging, kissing and dancing which can be just as rewarding.


Alcohol and Drug Prevention

As your child begins to grow up and starts going out with their friends, it is natural for you to be worried about them drinking alcohol and taking drugs. But did you know that parents have more influence over their child than friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities? Children who learn from their parents about the risks of drugs and alcohol are 50% less likely to use than those who do not. Help your child make the right decision by speaking to him or her regularly, being involved in their lives, making it clear you don’t want them abusing of alcohol or drugs, and setting limits.
 
Contact Sedqa for more information or help on alochol and drug prevention.