At every stage of your child’s development, it’s important to talk to them about age-appropriate topics. If your teen communicates with grunts and slammed doors, talking to them about anything can seem challenging but there are some subjects that shouldn’t be avoided. To ensure your teen is well-equipped for the world around them, take a look at these four taboo subjects you should be talking to them about:
1. Drugs and Alcohol
It’s not unusual for teenagers to experiment with drugs or alcohol and, sadly, this can lead to a variety of issues. From health risks to legal problems, it’s vital that teens understand the consequences of drinking alcohol and using drugs.
Similarly, teens should know what type of help is available and how substance abuse can be treated. Explaining how American Addiction Centers operate and making sure your teens are aware of free chat and helpline options will ensure that they’re always able to access support if it’s required.
2. Consent and Sex
Talking to your teens about safe sex and active consent is essential in today’s modern world. While many parents want their teens to practice abstinence, this shouldn’t mean that your teens remain unaware of how to practice safe sex. Furthermore, it’s important that teens understand how consent can be conveyed when it can’t and feel empowered to say ‘no’ if they want to. When you talk to your teens about these issues, you can be sure that they’re getting accurate information in an appropriate format, which is certainly better than relying on their friends or the internet to provide an education.
3. Body Confidence
Teens are constantly bombarded with images of seemingly ‘perfect’ bodies, which can have a damaging impact on their self-esteem. Dispelling the myths surrounding the images they see in the media can be a good place to start if you want your teen to develop body confidence. Similarly, encouraging them to focus on what their body is capable of can help to boost their confidence. Whether your child is a great dancer, a talented footballer, or a skilled cheerleader, using these to boost their self-esteem can be an effective way to increase body confidence.
4. Online Safety
Most teens are aware that they shouldn’t give out personal information online, particularly to users they don’t know in real life. However, online safety isn’t solely about ‘stranger danger.’ Instead, teens need to be aware of the risks of sharing content with the people they know too. Some teens are encouraged to send risqué photos of themselves online, for example, only to find out that they’ve been shared amongst classmates. Helping your teens to establish boundaries and making sure that they understand the perils of putting content online can help them to stay safe in a digital era.
How To Talk to Teens
Teens aren’t always keen to confide in their parents and they may resist your attempts to talk to them about difficult subjects. However, encouraging an open dialogue and ensuring they feel able to ask you any questions can help them to feel more comfortable. Similarly, talking to teens in a casual setting, such as in the car, can be a great way to take the pressure off and encourage them to open up.