Helping teens make healthy decisions

Teen success with Dr. Trevicia Williams

Teenagers often make decisions on instinct. They do not think of the consequences that could result from their actions. They often lead a care-free life without thinking what could happen. Guiding teenagers into making good decisions can be very demanding on the parent. It requires you, as a parent, to be patient and flexible. It’s important to understand the changes your teenager is going through and the challenges they are facing in their daily lives.


 Openness and flexibility: Your teenager should know that no question is wrong even if the topic is embarrassing. A good parent should discuss any topic the teenager wants to. Make sure you are analyzing what they are saying before providing advice.


Keeping time: Make sure you keep the conversations brief. Teenagers often have a short attention span and will lose focus if they are engaged for too long.


Never judge: Try to be understanding about what your teen is telling you. Remember, you were a teenager once. You know firsthand how hard life can be at that age. Try not to judge them for the mistakes they are making. Teenagers are still trying to figure out how to navigate through the world. Also, talking to them instead of talking at them helps a lot. This means, talking to your teenager at their level. Show respect for their level of maturity and positive choices they make.


Be trustworthy: Honesty is important to teenagers. It’s important to make sure that what you are telling them is believable. Trust me, they will see right through ingenuity and inaccurate information. If you do not know the answer, there is no shame in admitting it.


Confidentiality: Make your teenager know that they can trust you with anything. Make it clear that what is said will always stay between you two unless someone is in serious danger.

Be approachable: Never get upset or too excited. Stay cool and look for things you can talk about with the teenagers. Try to know their interests and hobbies so that you can bring that up in conversation when need be. This will help your teenager feel more connected to you and you will have more to talk about than their problems.


 Be patient: Young adults may take time to tell you what the problem is. They may also have difficulty making a decision. It may take different conversations before you are able to make progress with your teenager. Your teenager is dealing with emotions and things they have not experienced before. Thus, it is harder for them to describe how they are feeling. Be patient, always.


 To your parenting success!