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Manage risky teen behavior with a level head on your shoulders

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Manage risky teen behavior with a level head on your shoulders

Your children's teenage years can be a difficult time during fatherhood. They want more space and freedom, but you worry constantly about their safety. Depending on who they fall in with at school, they could even begin to show signs of risky behavior.

Smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol and self-harm are just a few of the risky behaviors that teenagers can engage in these days. If you encounter them, it's important to know how to respond to these sensitive issues.

Discuss your values
Taking the time to talk about values with your children can be integral not just in curbing risky behavior, but preventing it as well. Let your son or daughter know how you feel about certain actions and how they're unacceptable in your family. The more respectful and calm you are, the better your children will react.

Encourage caution
When it comes down to it, you won't be able to monitor what your kids are doing all the time. Your best course of action is to encourage them to be cautious when deciding to do something. Let yourself become an outlet in case they're in a pickle and need to call you for help.

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By carrie,   From Thornhill
You are absolutely correct…. As a parent (father or mother) typically your primary concern is how do I keep my teenager safe?
The good news…. If you have been thinking about this since your teen was a baby, you have likely already instilled many core values. Yes, there will always be those ‘friends’ you aren’t so sure about. Have faith in yourself and your teen; they will sense the trust and will want to keep it. However, many of my clients are parents of children with ADHD and those impulsive decisions seem to be the norm, rather than the exception. My advice, keep your cool and make sure that your teen knows that everyone makes mistakes and no matter what you will be there to support them. At least this way, if they do in fact stray and make a choice you (and they) would rather they hadn’t they will know that they can turn to you. Individuals with ADHD tend to have regrets for choices they make. Be there for them!!
Sometimes the best thing you can do is help your teen find a coach or other adult who understands the way they are wired. Often, teens won’t listen simply because you are the parent, having another trusted adult often helps your messages to be heard. I have many parents of teenaged clients who are amazed that their kids will talk to me but not them. A third party can take some of the emotion out of the situation making everyone more understanding.
Carrie Silverberg BA(Psyc), RECE
ADHD Consultant and Coach

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