Rebellion can be a normal part of your teen's healthful transition into a mature, independent adult. Activities that are fun, informative and inspiring can help teens cope with the challenging adolescent years. It is important to encourage, guide and support your teen to find the right projects and outlets for him. Activities that improve his confidence and self-esteem can also teach him to be more responsible and make the right judgments.
Giving your teen more independence can teach him to take responsibility for his actions and help to prevent him from crossing the line out of anger or frustration. Independent activities include joining a youth sailing group, going on a supervised camping trip or spending a few days at a sports or music camp. This time away from home and his parents will allow your teen to blossom without feeling he must disobey you to prove his sense of self. The website Christian Women Today notes that rebellion is normal in a teen's psychological and mental development; teenagers will test their limits at some point. Independent activities provide a healthful space for him to make his own choices and face any consequences.
Encourage your teen's individual talents by suggesting classes at school or a community center to discover and hone his artistic abilities. Activities that involve creative expression such as writing, drawing, painting, sculpting and music help teens develop higher self-esteem and the ability to cope with challenges and stress. Ann Gatty, an author and writer at the website EmpoweringParents, advises that it is important to show support for your teen's individual creative expression, regardless of what she chooses. A safe, artistic outlet will help your teen put her energy toward something that builds confidence.
Volunteer activities let your teenager make a difference in his school or community environment. Encourage your child to take part by volunteering together for a communal garden, soup kitchen, tutoring center, elderly residence or whatever else is needed in your community. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention notes that volunteering helps your teen learn to make sound decisions that affect others and to develop strong problem-solving skills. Your teen might initially view volunteering as unpaid work and drudgery, however he will value it once he sees that he has power to have an effect on the lives of others.
With the rise of entertaining cooking shows on TV, you might find that your teen enjoys preparing meals. Cooking together or having your teen prepare a meal for the family one day a week can help boost his confidence and give him a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this encourages your teen to have at least one meal a day at the table with the family. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention notes that teens who eat meals with family are more likely to get better grades and are less likely to smoke, drink, use drugs, get into fights or engage in sexual activity.
Many rebellious teens experiment with smoking, drinking and even drugs. In an article published on the National Association of School Psychologists website, sociologist Marsha Rosenbaum promotes "reality-based drug education." This involves educating teens on the science of drugs to let them make the right decisions. Help your teen become aware of the effects of drugs by enrolling him in an educational seminar on the topic, watching a documentary on the topic or by visiting a rehabilitation center and speaking to doctors and patients. If your child is trying drugs or alcohol, consider professional counseling for him.
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention -- Child Development: Teenagers (15-17 Years Of Age) Developmental Milestones
- Christian Women Today: Tackling the Teenage Crisis: Helping Parents Survive Adolescent Rebellion; Dr. David Currie
- Empowering Parents: Dealing with a Rebellious Teen? 4 Ways to Manage Their Behavior; Dr. Anne Gatty
- National Association Of School Psychologists: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs
- EmpoweringParents: How to Motivate Teenagers, Part 1
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