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Good Teen, Bad Choices? How to Help Your Teen

Teens are not very good at making decisions. The frontal lobe of the brain does not develop until adulthood. This frontal lobe is in charge of decision-making. Teens are often impulsive and stimulated, and they can make bad decisions.

While teenagers can reason and make good decisions, they do not also think before they act. As a parent, helping your teen make good choices can be difficult; however, there are several ways to do so. There are some steps to take to know more about influencing your teen to make good choices. Keep reading to learn these steps.

Recognize and Acknowledge Feelings

This is the first step to take as a parent to help your teenager make good choices. Recognizing your feelings of sadness, anguish, nervousness, and frustration is essential. Admit that you as the parent or guardian have these feelings and try to calm yourself. Relax and get involved in your career, and do not let your teen handle your feelings for you.

Also, try as much as you can not to react to your child negatively. Reacting by distancing yourself from the child or yelling and becoming controlling will cause more harm than good. However, you want your teenagers to think about the choices they have to make and not act due to your reaction. Do not give room for your teen to avoid the responsibility of making these decisions.

Make Observations

Build a good relationship with your children and observe and change any destructive patterns between you. When you calm and relax, it helps you think about the right way to guide your teen and not control them. Observe, think and ask yourself some questions to know what is going on. Some of these questions are as follows:

  1. Did anything trigger these behaviors?

  2. When did the negative behaviors start?

  3. Did you lay down too many or few rules in the house?

  4. Is the teenager acting in response to something you did?

Always Take Charge But Not Control

Always try to positively influence some of your teenager’s choices and not try to control them. Let them see why their choice is wrong and let them know why yours is correct. When a teenager insists on doing something extremely detrimental to their health, respond immediately with the appropriate intervention.

Let your teenager know that there are no actions without consequences. However, if they make choices, there will be a positive consequence to their actions and vice versa. Make sure you maintain a good, healthy, strong relationship and clear boundaries with your teenager. Consider enrolling your teen in a school that fixes bad behavior.

Stay Strong

It is essential to know that all kids are not the same. Some will have a smooth journey, and some will have a challenging journey; always hang in there. Do the best you can, and do not remove or change the rules to accommodate the teen’s poor behavior. Always keep the rules in place regardless of whether they get broken frequently.

Do not completely control your teen but be ready to stay strong during tough times. Also, do not hesitate to let the teen know that the rules are there for safety reasons. During maturity, there is a chance that your teenager might disregard some of those rules. According to James Lehman, “Parent the child you have and not the child you wish you had.”

Enjoy and Make Good Connections

Create good and fun memories with your children while being firm and clear about boundaries. Make sure not to let any problem affect your relationship. Understand that teens are prone to mistakes and making bad decisions, and do not let it influence your relationship. Do not see your teen for their negative behaviors but rather for all they are.

Final Thoughts

As a parent or guardian with a teenager, do not give up on your child. Understand that teenagers are prone to making many mistakes and may be out of control. However, be there for them and be ready to guide them. Always keep your feelings in check first to not react negatively and hurt the bond you have built.

Contact us at Sundance Academy if you have any questions on how we can help you build a positive relationship with your son.

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