How to Raise Well Adjusted Teens

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It happens about once per week. I find myself driving past the local high school on my way to wherever it is I happen to be going. As I slowly pass the school (going no more than 20 MPH, of course) I can't help but reflect on how much different things appear to be now compared to when I was in high school.

Back when I was in high school...

Well Adjusted Teen

We didn't have cell phones or the internet. We used pay phones and the library.
We didn't dye our hair black and (apparently) avoid sunlight. We wore silly surfer shorts and took pride in our healthy tans.
We didn't worry about school shootings or propositions from promiscuous teachers. Those things were unheard of.
We weren't concerned with terrorism or war. Those were just things that happened in the Middle East.
On-line predators were basically non-existent because, well, so was the internet.
Musicians used to sing about having fun and being in love. Today the airwaves are full of references to drugs, crime, and the mistreatment of women.
Drugs and pornography were only available to teens that sought them out. Today, those things are so readily available that children don't need to seek them out.
It used to be shocking if someone brought a gun to school. Today it is the norm in many schools.

Yup, times have really changed. Teens have a lot to deal with these days -- as if there isn't already enough going on in their lives.

Parents need to be "on top of it" if they expect to raise happy, healthy, and well-adjusted teens.

Here are a few things that parents can do:

1.Keep the lines of communication open. Talk often.
2.Raise a child that feels valued, respected, and loved.
3.Pay attention to what is going on in your child's life.
4.Recognize the warning signs for drug/alcohol use, depression, and future violence. Take action, if necessary, rather than slipping into denial.
5.Encourage participation in extra-curricular activities.
6.Set reasonable limits and boundaries then enforce them in a fair manner.
8.Seek professional help for your teen if you think it is necessary.

Following these guidelines won't necessarily guarantee a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted teen, but you can bet it's a good start.