Adolescent Health Sourcebook (Health Reference Series) by Amy L. Sutton

By Amy L. Sutton

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Extra resources for Adolescent Health Sourcebook (Health Reference Series)

Sample text

Taking time to talk to your teen is the first step you can take toward preventing drug and alcohol abuse. Why Teens Take Risks As your children grow, they rightfully demand a measure of independence in their life. They’ll challenge you and disagree on things, and that’s a healthy part of their efforts to mature and form a unique identity. Stress s 3TRESS IS THE MOST CITED CONCERN BY TEENS IN SURVEY AFTER SURVEY Stress is compounded as teens move from middle school to high SCHOOL AND PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER AGE  s 3TUDENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING FOR ACCEPTANCE CAN FALL PREY TO THE influence of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drug use to satisfy their curiosity, ease stress, win friends, and to appear cool.

Parents need to help their teens learn how to evaluate risks and anticipate the consequences of their choices, and develop strategies for diverting their energy into healthier activities when necessary.  0ARENTS NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR OWN CURRENT PATTERNS of risk-taking as well. Teenagers are watching, and imitating, whether they acknowledge this or not. 30 Chapter 6 For Parents: Talking to Teens about Health Issues Chapter Contents 3ECTION ˆ#OMMUNICATING WITH 9OUR 4EEN .............................

7. Since adolescents need to take risks, parents need to help them find healthy opportunities to do so. Healthy risk-taking, not only important in itself, can help prevent unhealthy risktaking. DOLESCENTS OFTEN OFFER SUBTLE CLUES ABOUT THEIR NEGATIVE RISK taking behaviors through what they say about the behaviors of friends and family, including parents. Parents often stay silent about their own histories of risk-taking and experimenting, but it can be important to find ways to share this information with adolescents in order to serve as role models, to let teens know that mistakes are not fatal, and to encourage making healthier choices than those the parent may have made during his or her own adolescence.

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