Risk taking behaviour in your teenager: Being a mother, it is natural to feel worried about risk taking behaviour in your teenager. I always did.
I saw many examples of risk taking behaviour in teens. There has been a time or two when my teens have displayed it. Rash driving that led to broken bones, experiment gone all wrong that lead to repainting the walls.
Some kids I know of have gone a step further. Indulged in drinking driving to drugs. I was like… what to do if one day my teen start drugs? How to deal with it?
What should I do for my teens, to prevent them from doing such kind of activities? How can I prevent my teen from risky behavior? What should I do if one day I came to know about any risky behavior in my teen? How should I react?
Like me, all of you have thoughts regarding to this matter. I am writing this blog for us as parents especially.
I will discuss in detail how you can avoid risky taking behavior in your teenager? And how to deal if your teen is demonstrating these kinds of behaviour?
Before proceeding further, I just want to say this. Do not feel alone. Including me almost every parent has thoughts and worries about risk taking behaviour in your teenager. It is the common problem of parenting. So, you are not alone in this situation.
- Most common Risk taking behaviour in your teenager
- 10 Common Reasons why they do it
- 20 Ideas to reduce risk taking behaviour in your teenager
- Important Note to Parents
Teens usually love to take risks as they are with over enthusiasm in teenage years. They love to feel independent. Feel macho.
They want to explore new things and gain different experiences. Or they like to push their abilities and see what they are made of. Taking risk is good if it is safe.
But sometimes teens involved in risky behaviour which are totally bad for their well beings. It is important to be concerned about risky behaviour in your teenager. As parent, you can feel stress about such behaviour.
Most common Risk taking behaviour in your teenager are:
- Violent sports
- Damage and destruction to property
- Unhealthy food habits
- Getting into fight, Bullying
- Drugs / medication/ Illegal substance use
- Dangerous / rash driving
- Any kind of illegal activities
- Smoking tobacco
10 Common Reasons why they do it
Here, we will discuss factors that can develop Risk taking behaviour in your teenager.
Teenagers are usually too emotional and bad in decision making. From a medical point of view main reason is under growth of prefrontal cortex.
Prefrontal cortex is part of brain which development complete around the age of 25. This part of brain helps in decisions making.
Till this age impulse control (doing something in a gif without thinking though and looking at the consequence). Is still in development and not matured.
This coupled with some of the following reasons can develop Risk taking behaviour in your teenager.
- They also go for risky behaviour to get to know something new for experience.
- They can be influenced by negative company. May be because of any friend or cousin etc.
- For adventure, adrenaline rush, thrill seeking, pleasure and fun.
- Social media can an influence teen in negative way. For instance, they get influenced by any movie in which risky behaviour demonstrate as glamour. For example, rash driving.
- Low self-esteem is also a cause of Risk taking behaviour in your teenagers. A teen with low self-esteem does these stunts to impress others. To try and fit in.
- They want to try something exceptional. For example, most common risky behaviour in girls is smoking and dangerous driving in boys.
- The other factor that cause risky behaviour is to express independence. Teens usually go against the order to express their independence.
- To feel like an adult. In control of everything.
- To feel superior. When they get into a fight or bullying. Where they can overpower their victim and feel superior to them.
- Self-loath or self-punishment. Inflicting pain or injury on own self.
20 Ideas to reduce risk taking behaviour in your teenager
I have outlined below 20 ideas that you can use to reduce risk taking behaviour in your teenager. I have personally tried them out myself and it has worked for me in my situation.
I hope they also are of some use to you to reduce risk taking behaviour in your teenager.
#1 Educate yourself
The time has change and problems are also change. As a parent we should be aware of all the problems that our teen can face these days. Either these problems are related to social media or drugs. When we have enough knowledge about these things, we can prevent our child from these. We can take steps in advance.
Moreover, when you know completely about all the problems of teens you become more likely to understand your teen situation. For example, unfortunately, if some day you discover some bad trait about your teen behaviour, how you can give guidance to your teen when your homework is not complete.
#2 Educate your teenager about risky behaviour
I have done this for all my three children. I strongly believe this helps.
I have talked to them how their brain develops and how they do not have matured impulse control till they are about 25 yrs.
There is nothing wrong with it. It is like reaching to the top shelf. They cannot do it when they are little but can do it when they grow tall, they can do it.
Same way their brain is also growing. And will take time. So, they should be aware of this when they feel like doing something risky.
This thing will help your child in future. They become clearer about do’s and don’ts.
#3 Talk about real consequences of risky behaviour
Through social media your child can negatively influenced. For instance, from movies they can find rash driving glamorous.
Talk to them and ask them if they like to do some stunts like what they have seen. And educate them of the risks involved.
But you should explain reality and real consequence of rash driving.
You can also narrate stories of accidents happens around you. You can show them in real world this thing has harmful consequences.
#4 Friendly conversation with your teens
During friendly conversation, you can discuss about pros and cons of risky behaviour.
Encourage them to seek guidance from you if they have question about anything. Always be available and patiently clear they doubt.
If they do not come forward you initiate conversations when you get a chance.
#5 Step into your teenager’s worlds
Be an interesting parent and try to get to know your teen completely. Get familiar with your teen’s world.
Take interest in their choices. Get to know about their school friends or their close friends.
This thing will not only build a strong relationship with your teens, but you can easily spot sign of any incoming trouble.
#6 Listen them with attention
Attentive Listing is heart of any relation. Try to listen your teens with attention. Show your concerned about what they are talking about. Get to know about their feelings during open conversations. Be available when your child needs you. Be supportive. Make sure to them you are always here to help. They can seek guidance from you in any matter.
#7 Talk about their actions and their consequences
Clearly talk about risky actions and it is results. In a polite way tell all the consequences that someone face after risky actions. Make sure, your objective is not to deliver lecture but about the wellbeing of your child. This thing will help your child before taking any decision, they will think before doing.
#8 Set your expectations indirectly
When you tell your kids about your expectation towards them, they become more conscious about their actions.
For example, during a conversation you can say “I know my child make me proud one day’’. “I know you are far wise than the other kid. You will be more careful”. ‘You wont act in such a rash way, your driving is safe”
This kind of things give positive energy to your teens and they become more concerned about parents’ expectations.
#9 Talk about your family values and family rules
Clear your family values and family rules to your teens. When your child completely knows about their family rules and values, they become more responsible.
Talk about your opinion on Sex, Substance abuse, bullying etc. What you feel about them. What is acceptable and what is not in the family. Things that will make you embarrassed and things that will make you proud.
#10 Be a good role model
You are the educator of your child. They always seek guidance from you and your actions. They are observers of your actions. If you want your child be punctual, you should be on time. If you want your teens follow your rules. You should follow first.
If your rash drive or jump signals. You then most likely have a teen who will rashly drive or jump signals.
#12 Monitor your teen activities
Get to know about your teen friend circle and the people they are hanging out. Always get to know about the location of your teens or what they are up to.
You do not need to be strict, in a friendly way you can get all the information about your teen.
#13 Give consequence
To break any rule, give consequence. Show a firm and consistent behavior about your rules. Do not be tolerant if your teenager violates your family rule. Tell them there is a consequence of every action. By this, they take your family rules more serious.
#14 Encourage your teens about health risks
Guide them they can take risk about appropriate activities. Guide them about different healthy risks they can perform. Suggest new ideas. Suggest them they can do safe things also, for example mountain biking, rock climbing or hiking.
I have seen the months my second son goes for rock climbing or hiking are the months he is least interested in doing anything risky on his own.
#15 Encourage your teen to make some good friends
Guide your teen about good and bad friends. Ask them to make new friend with good motivational energy.
Especially younger teens are more likely to take part in risky behavior in the presence of friends. And when the friend circle encourages it. You are in for some bruises and broken bones to say the least.
#16 Engage your teen with activities
Engage your teen in sports, family activities, health activities and things of their interest. These kinds of activities give positive energy to your teen.
They also get a way to socialize with people of same interest groups. This is also a good way for them to shed some the extra energy they have.
#17 Motivate your teen to find a mentor
Sometimes teen do not listen to their parents. You can introduce your teen to a friend with positive energy. Your teen can get motivation from such people. While Having a mentor can make your child less likely to alcohol and rash things.
#18 Teach delay tactics
Teach you teen on delay tactic. Such as count till 10 before they act. Count in descending order from 10 to 1. Take three deep breath and then think. Delay the act. Go for a walk. Etc.
#19 Help your teen handle tricky situation
You need to teach your teen to handle peer pressure without losing face or loose social standing.
Teach your child some effective excuses they can make to get out of the tricky situations.
#20 Encourage your teen to reach out for help
Give your teen emergency contacts they can reach out to. People who will look out for their interest and be nonjudgmental about it. Teach them to always reach out to you or text you if they are getting to an uncomfortable situation and you come and help them to get out of it.
An Important Note to parents
As a parent, it is our responsibility to save our kids from dangerous things. You must stay connected to your child, if you don`t want to face problem of risky behaviour in your child.
Friends are the great influencer in teenage years. Your teens usually adopt the habits of people around them. Make sure there is good people around your teen to avoid future problems.
Moreover, stay involved in your child daily activities. Try to become an interesting parent and show interest in your teens daily routine or things they love to do.
The reason is that when you and your teenager share a good relation thing become easier for both of you.
No doubt, sometimes parenting become difficult for us. But don`t stressed out from such problems. to avoid become proactive about risky behavior that your child can adopt.
Become be aware from teens psychology about risks to avoid problems. But if you still find some bad habits in your teen, take a deep breath, and think what possible things you can do to resolve issue.
Take steps according to your child psychology about that bad habit. Make a strategy to overcome the problem of your teenager.
At the end, I want to conclude by saying that don`t become too strict or do not become too lenient.
Discipline is not punishment. When you love your children, you will discipline them.
It is about your teen future, try to do things in a balance way and in few shot years you will have a healthy and strong adult.
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I like to make a disclaimer here. I am not a medical practitioner and more about me, my qualification and experience or that of my team you can read in About Us page.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Am a concerned parent.
I like to share my knowledge with the hope that it will be help to someone somewhere and make a difference to a very worried parent.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. Also, I have implemented it in my life with my kids.
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