Attention parents: you are the key
Allen Sanders
RISD Community Relations Director

Teenage years can be a very difficult time for parents and their children. Research has shown that hormonal changes can distort your child’s perception of the world around them. Peer pressure and the need for acceptance is a very powerful influence at this stage of their lives. Independence is another major desire for teenagers during this time, and they have a hard time understanding that they are not fully ready for all of the responsibilities independence brings.

Parents can seem to forget how difficult it was at this age, and how strong the need was to fit in with their peers. It is essential that parents understand their role in the proper development of their children, and parents must be willing to spend time with their children to help guide them to this understanding.

There is a great deal of research that supports the idea that parents and family ties are among the most influential factors in a child’s development and well-being. The following factors have been identified to be highly effective in teen development.

Establishing regular family routines (meals, chores, and errands) are linked to a teen’s academic achievement and self-esteem. Making a teen-parent time together helps motivate education and socialize teens. High parental involvement during high school increases the likelihood that teens will attend college, vote and volunteer. Teens closely supervised by their parents are less likely to engage in inappropriate relations with the opposite sex.

Teens who receive communication and praise are less at risk for delinquency and alcohol or drug use. Teens whose parents demonstrate warm support and simultaneously high demands for appropriate behavior tend to be content, self-reliant and self-controlled. In many cases, parents seem to be surprised to know that teenagers still want and need their approval and praise.

A study conducted by the Institute for Youth Development (IYD) asked teens what factor most affected their decision about whether to have sex, 39 percent answered that the morals, values or religious beliefs taught to them by their parents influenced them the most. Parents, you hold the keys to the appropriate development and success of your child through-out their teenage years and eventual adulthood. Please be there for them and provide the guidance that is necessary for this transition. cts.

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2013-11-21 digital edition

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