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Supporting Your Teen in Finding Their Passion

by Richel on February 25, 2013
category: Teens

Youth is a time of exploring passions and figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. This leads young people down a variety of roads before they truly find their calling and passion in life.  As parents, we want to support them  not squander their curiosity. This often means learning how to support your child’s passion even when you know nothing about it.

I’m not a golfer, but my oldest son adores it.  It’s been a challenge but slowly I am learning the game and why he loves it so much.  It does require a lot of patience on my part, and so on his part as we both try and figure out what he needs to be successful.

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Figuring Out What they Need vs. What they Want

If they need supplies, that’s one thing, most of the time you will need buy them. If they need equipment, make sure they have the right equipment for their age. As a parent, you’re the breadwinner for your kids. However with so many cool gadgets, you’ll want to insure that you spend money where it is going to be best spent.  This also does not mean you have to break the bank to get gear.

For example, if they’re learning how to play hockey you’ll want to invest in good protective equipment.  You can find cheap deals on hockey equipment locally and online and still get great gear. The most important is that they are the right equipment or tools for the area that you teen is trying to pursue.  Whether it’s hockey or painting, passions need certain materials. Do what you can to get it for your child.

Be There for Them 

It’s not enough to just make sure they have everything they need, you need to find ways to be there for them as well. If they love painting, then you are going to need to be open to visiting art shows and museums. If your kid loves soccer then grab your lawn chair and head to the field.  You may not know what’s going on, but you can still be there to cheer and although they may not say it, they will love having someone there for them. It means the world to a child when he knows he has his parents there supporting him on the sidelines.

Encourage the Passion

Sometimes kids explore passions simply out of rebellion. If you’re worried about this aspect of their lives, simply continue to support them. If it truly is a rebellious streak, then your support will make it completely uninteresting to continue. In other instances, children truly are just exploring their options. You need to know how to encourage them to move forward in it even when you don’t understand it.

When you effectively learn how to support their passion, they will find their way. Children do not need you to force their path. They need to figure out much of it on their own. You can guide them and even respectfully express your opinion, but at the end of the day you must support them through it all. If you want your children to respect you during this time, you must respect them as well. Showing your support is the best way to do that.

Talking with Your Teenager about Alcohol Consumption

by Tina on March 14, 2012
category: Teens

As a mother there are a few topics that can be difficult and uncomfortable to talk about with your teenage son or daughter. However as difficult as they may be, some discussions are necessary and must take place. One of these is a frank discussion about alcohol and drinking amongst your teen’s peer group.

This is a subject that you should not put off having until your teen is in the latter part of his/her teens- instead have the talk as early as possible!

Don’t wait until your teen starts to drink without your knowledge and worse, become an alcoholic who will need to enter alcohol rehab programs for treatment. Talk to them now.

Talking Openly and Honestly

Parents are often in the dark about drinking among teenagers. They also vastly underestimate the extent to which teenagers drink, as well as how early they begin to experiment with alcohol. Teen drinking however is not something that you have to automatically accept will take place. You can talk with your teenager and discuss the risks as well as the health consequences that go along with the consumption of alcohol. It is also important to encourage and support your teen son or daughter in making decisions that are right for him or her.

Having a frank discussion (or a number of discussions if need be) with your teen is not always easy. In fact it can be nerve wracking not just for you but also for your teenager! You may be uncertain as to how to approach the topic and not know exactly what you should say about it. Your teenager on the other hand may try to dodge your attempts at conversing on the subject and may become distant or evasive when you begin to talk. Don’t be surprised if your teen rolls his or her eye a couple of times or does not seem very interested in the conversation that is taking place. As a mother you are used to this by now, are you not?

Planning the Time and Place

Choose a time to talk when the two of you are both feeling calm and relaxed. Do not choose a time when either of you are distracted or stressed by other things. You need to have a clear head when you broach the subject of alcohol with your son or daughter.

This also goes for the place where you will have the discussion. Choose somewhere that is quiet, calm and free of distractions and/or interruptions. Do not overwhelm yourself by feeling that you must touch on every aspect related to the subject of teen drinking. In fact it is better if you break the conversation down into parts and have more than one talk about this important issue. Having shorter discussions can help both of you to feel even more relaxed and focused on the subject at hand.

Getting the Discussion Underway

It would be wise if you began the conversation by finding out how much your teen knows about alcohol in general. Then you can ask him to share his views about alcohol. Listen carefully to what your teen has to say regarding his thoughts, opinions and ideas about this subject. Listen carefully.

Once you have listened then you get to have the floor. Provide the necessary facts to your teenager. Tell him that alcohol is a drug that has a very powerful and disruptive effect on both the body and the mind. Tell him that alcohol is very addictive and anyone can fall victim to it- including individuals in his age group.

Keep in mind as you talk that many teenagers believe that alcohol can help them to fit in with the popular crowd at school and can also help them to feel happier and more fulfilled in their lives. Teenagers harbor many fallacies about alcohol and often see its allure but not its downside. As a parent you need to debunk these misconceptions in the gentlest manner possible. Let your teen know that alcohol is a depressant that can cause them to feel depressed, sad and /or angry. Let them know that even though alcohol is legal it acts on the nervous system in negative ways.

Keep the Discussion on a Positive Note

Keep your teenager’s self-respect in mind as you communicate why drinking is not a good idea. Be as positive as possible. Do not attempt to threaten your teen and do not use scare tactics to warn him off of drinking. These tactics rarely if ever work and they are simply not a good argument for the case that you are trying to build. What you should do instead is explain the risks to your teen in a no-nonsense manner that he can understand and relate to. If he has any questions then be prepared to answer them in a simple and concise manner.



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