3 Things All Parents Should Do When Their Children Become Teens

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Parenting is not an exact science. Everyone has to figure out what their children’s needs are, and those needs change depending on the situation. When kids are young, parents have their thumb down on their every move. As their children grow into teenagers, there’s a whole new set of responsibilities that parents have to face.

Teens want to start driving. They go through puberty and start dating and potentially having sex. High schools are filled with peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol. Parents can only control so many things about their teenager’s life, but there are some measures that all parents should take to make this stage of life go smoother for everyone.

Adding your child to your auto insurance will protect them if they get into an accident after getting their license. Talking about safe sex and how to handle their newfound romantic feelings for others is also vital to creating confidence and avoiding teen pregnancy. We’ll talk about these things and more to make the teenage years productive for parents and kids. 

#1 – Encourage Teens to Think About College

This is something that you can think about before your kid gets to their teen years, but it’s even more important to dig into once kids reach high school. It’s unfair to expect a 14-year-old to know what they want to do with their life, but there should be some prompting from parents about what their teen is interested in doing after they graduate.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go to college. Now that college has gotten so expensive, it’s more important to have an idea of what your child would study in college as opposed to going to college and figuring out what to study once you get there. College debt could make early adulthood more difficult for your child. 

This discussion can become uncomfortable if you make your teen feel like you are trying to control their life. You need to make sure they lead the conversation, telling you what they feel they are interested in, and you can give your input after they are done. 

Remember the teenage years are very volatile, and as a parent, you may have to relearn what your child cares about and what they are passionate about. If they are very interested in a job or a career path that requires college, parents can start to teach their kids how to save some money for college. 

Getting a part-time job after school or on the weekends is not as common as it used to be. Many companies now have age-restricted positions that are only available if you are over 18. This is where your teen can start a side hustle from home and gain a profit from it. They can spend this money on college, or put it into a savings account for something else in their future. 

The bottom line is every parent needs to engage with their teenager on what interests them beyond high school. Nothing is set in stone, but ignoring these conversations because you feel there is plenty of time for them, later on, is remiss. Preparing for your kids’ future is an important part of the teenage years. 

#2 – Preach Safe Sex 

Parents don’t want to think about their children having sex, but with puberty comes a rush of new feelings for teenagers. Hormones are high and curiosity leads to poor decisions from young people in the bedroom. Many parents try to preach not having sex, or abstinence when instead they should try giving their teen a safe sex talk.

It is naive of parents to think their kids aren’t going to try some sort of sexual activity at some point during these years. Parents need to talk about the consequences of not using birth control, condoms, and other contraception. Teen pregnancy affects both boys and girls in its own way. 

Even though the young mother is the one responsible for carrying out the birth of the child, it can be equally stressful for a teen boy to wrap their head around becoming a father while in high school. The parents of teen moms and dads are often the ones who have to step in and help fill the needs of their grandchildren. 

There’s also the matter of LGBTQ+ teenagers. If you are a parent of a child who comes out while they are in high school, you need to be very supportive in helping them accept their sexuality. Parents judging their queer children’s sex lives could lead to devastating mental health problems. 

Suicide rates for LGBTQ+ youth are much higher than for their straight counterparts. Try to find a healthcare provider who sheds light on the issues unique to the queer sex. HIV and AIDS is still more common for gay men than in other demographics. Gay teen boys should be educated on this, and if parents don’t know how to, they need to find an expert who can. 

#3 – Get Auto Insurance For Your Teen

We all know that learning how to drive is perhaps the most famous symbol of adolescence. It represents freedom, and most teens are eager to get behind the wheel and gain some independence. 

With getting your license comes the matter of whether you have a car to drive. And parents should be thinking about how to add their teen driver to their auto insurance policy. This is cheaper than forcing your teen to get their own insurance policy. 

Insurance for teen drivers is high because companies view teens as high-risk drivers. Teens are inexperienced behind the wheel. Parents should have their teens take a defensive driving class to show insurance companies their kids have the skills to stay safe when they get their licenses. 

You can also get student discounts on auto insurance for your teen driver if they get good grades in school. Usually, a 3.5 GPA is good enough to get at least a 10% discount on teen auto insurance policies. This is obviously just one of the benefits of getting good grades in school.

Seeing your kid grow into a teenager can be very difficult for parents. You need to be there for your child during these difficult changes so they can become the adults you always hoped they could be. 

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