Everyone wants to make sure their child is safe, but that doesn’t always mean making sure they don’t get hurt or sick. Sometimes, you’ll need to save them from themselves. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to engaging in risky behaviors that could be harmful thanks to pushing boundaries and gaining independence. It’s just the way it is but that doesn’t mean that you have to sit back and watch it happen. Sure, there are some lessons that teenagers need to learn all on their own but there are ways to give them space and still minimize the collateral damage they might do to themselves.
You wouldn’t want them hurting themselves or getting arrested for a class 2 misdemeanor, for example. You’ll need to know how to keep your teenager out of trouble while still giving them room to figure things out themselves. It doesn’t have to be as complicated and you don’t have to revert back to your helicopter days of their toddlerhood. It’s going to include a whole lot of trusting your own parenting, putting a little trust and faith in the good humans you’ve been raising and, unfortunately, a little bit of letting go.
By following five practical strategies, you can help minimize your worry and maximize their safety.
How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble
1. Create A Safe Environment
If your teenager has a safe environment at home, they’ll be less likely to get into trouble. You should make sure they feel as comfortable as possible at home, especially when it comes to anything they could be doing. The more comfortable they are talking to you about things, the more you’ll know about them.
They’ll be more likely to tell you the truth, no matter how embarrassing it could be. You can create this safe environment in multiple ways, such as:
- Showing respect
- Using natural language
- Showing your teenager you care
The safer the environment is, the more comfortable your teenager will be to talk to you about what’s happening in their life. You can keep them out of trouble much better because of it.
2. Make Sure They’re Supervised
Supervision can be one of the more practical ways to keep your teen out of trouble. You can be there to make sure they don’t do anything they shouldn’t. While that doesn’t mean being with them constantly, there are ways you can supervise them without being overbearing. Don’t go overboard and make them feel like you don’t trust them. Just use common sense, not every teenager is going to choose to go wild and remember, your teen is innocent until proven guilty so don’t make them feel like a criminal without proof.
Letting them spend time with their friends in your living room can be a great way to do this. It gives you the ability to avoid any potential trouble while ensuring they make the decisions they should make. It’ll also give you more peace of mind while you’re at it. My house has always been where the kids hang out and I’ll host everything just so I can get to know who my kids are spending their time with, know what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with. I trust my girls and I also know that I won’t always be there so I’d prefer them to learn to make good choices on their own while I’m nearby to answer any questions or lend support than to shelter them and as soon as they leave my house they have no clue how to take care of themselves. This is all a part of growing up, just like making mistakes is a part of learning.
3. Get Professional Support
One of the most effective ways to keep your teenager out of trouble is to get professional support. You mightn’t be able to spot the signs or symptoms of whatever trouble they’re in, and you mightn’t be able to help them. That’s especially true when it comes to mental health. You should seek professional support for this if you notice:
- Dramatic changes in personality
- Continually talking about shame or embarrassment
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- Explosive outbursts
- A recent loss
By getting them the help they could need, you can make sure you avoid any possible trouble and its consequences.
4. Use Effective Monitoring Practices
You can’t stay with your teenager all the time to supervise them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch with them. A lot of research shows that teenagers who are being monitored by their parents are less likely to engage in bad behavior. They’re also less likely to make poor decisions.
It’s worth using some monitoring strategies to make sure you can achieve this. There are more than a few ways you can do this, including:
- Having them call you every hour
- Check how they’re spending money
- Getting the numbers of their close friends
Using a few of these strategies can be one of the more effective ways to keep your teenager out of trouble.
5. Get To Know Them
The parent-child relationship changes after kids reach their teenage years. Their interests will change and they’ll continue to grow in multiple ways. They could turn into a completely new person compared to what they were like in their younger ways. You should make sure you get to know the new them.
They’ll still be figuring themselves out, and that could be a difficult process. By putting the effort into getting to know them, you help them figure themselves out. It can avoid them lashing out and can make the process much easier for them while also bringing you closer together.
How To Keep Your Teenager Out Of Trouble
If you don’t know how to keep your teenager out of trouble, you could end up worrying about them a lot. Injuries, trouble with the law, and similar concerns can all prove anxiety-inducing. You’ll naturally want to avoid that, but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as you’d think.
A few practical tips can make this much easier. Making sure they’re supervised, creating a safe environment, and getting professional support – among other options – can all help with this. There’s no reason not to do it.