It is natural for teenagers to have an interest in exploring new experiences.
Because of this, adolescents have a natural interest in their own skills and limitations, in addition to those that you have set up for them, and this is the reason why. Some young people find the “high” that comes with thrills, danger, and adventure to be extremely enticing. This is especially true for those individuals who are more risk-taking. In addition, the great majority of teenagers feel the need to explain their most fundamental personal views and to develop a sense of who they are as distinct individuals.
All of these experiences are crucial stepping stones on their path to evolving into young adults who are capable of fending for themselves, taking on more responsibility, and figuring out who they are.
In addition, research has shown that teenagers are more likely than adults to make hasty judgements without first thinking about the potential ramifications of their actions. This is something that adults are more likely to do. This is because the regions of the adolescent brain that are accountable for planning and controlling impulses do not mature to their full potential until roughly age 25. The reason for this is related to the fact that teenage brains are still developing.
It is probable that adults and teenagers have quite different ideas of what constitutes a threat to their safety. This suggests that they do not consider the acts that they are conducting to pose any kind of actual risk to themselves.
In addition, in order for some teenagers to have the sense that they are a member of a community, they may occasionally participate in activities that may be seen as being detrimental to themselves or others. They want to put on a show, impress other people, show off their abilities, or behave in a way that they believe is “ordinary” for their group.
The following are examples of some of the potentially dangerous actions that they may engage in:
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes
- Using vapes
- Sexting and sending photos that are inappropriate to send.
- Vandalism in the form of graffiti and other forms
- Sexual behavior that is either unprotected or not taken seriously.
- Drug taking
- Reckless driving
- Playing truant
Encouraging safe risk-taking
Teenagers need to be willing to test their limits in order to have a more profound awareness of both who they are and what they are capable of.
Canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and martial arts are just a few examples of activities that may be utilized to focus your child’s excitement in a constructive way. You should encourage your kid to take part in these activities if they appreciate trying new things and are willing to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations. It is possible that some adolescents will discover that they like the “rush” that comes with participating in dramatic or creative arts performances.
If you allow your child a certain amount of autonomy and independence in certain aspects of their lives, they will be able to test themselves and explore without engaging in behavior that is antisocial or illegal. This is because you will be providing them with the opportunity to test themselves and explore. You might use this tactic as one of the options available to you. For instance, you may not like it if your adolescent decides to dye their hair blue or wear “goth” clothes, but these are both safe methods for adolescents to experiment.
How to keep risk-taking teens safe
The following are some suggestions that might help you encourage your child to consider the repercussions of their actions and to be safe. You and your child will find that this helps you navigate through this time of their development.
Discuss both the actions and the results of those actions.
Your child can learn to assess the level of danger posed by a variety of scenarios by listening to you discuss appropriate behaviors and the results of those behaviors. However, you should take care that it does not come off as a lecture since your youngster may be inspired to defy you if you do.
You may, for instance, state something along the lines of, “There are going to be times when it is going to be hard to say no to drugs.” You are aware, though, of the negative effects that they have on your health as well as other aspects of your life. I have faith in your ability to keep fighting.
Agree on rules
Your child is more likely to obey the rules that have been agreed upon if you engage with your child to establish the rules and the penalties for breaking them. As your child gets older and demonstrates that they are prepared for additional responsibility, you will need to be adaptable and modify the rules accordingly.
Talking about values
Your child’s development of personal responsibility and values, as well as their sense of what is essential to them, will benefit from learning what is important to the family. You may provide support for the values held by your family by serving as a positive example in areas such as safe driving, responsible consumption of alcohol, and courteous interaction with others.
Keep a close check on them
You will be better able to safeguard your child if you are aware of who they are with and where they are at all times. For instance, when you sit down with your child to discuss the ground rules for your household, one of those rules can be that your child must inform you of their whereabouts and give you a call if their plans change.
Maintain your relationship with your child
During the years that your child is a teenager, if you maintain an open line of communication with them and work to build a solid relationship with them, they will likely be better able to handle situations such as peer pressure to use alcohol and other drugs, participate in vandalism, or have unprotected sex.
Encourage the development of a broad social network.
Your ability to prevent your child from associating with a certain individual or group of people is usually quite limited. However, you have the ability to provide them with opportunities to expand their social network through the participation in activities such as those associated with their sport, religion, community, or family. You will have the opportunity to become acquainted with your child’s pals if you extend a warm welcome to all of their friends when they visit your house.
Help your youngster in overcoming the influence of their peers.
If you see that your child is being influenced by their peers to engage in potentially harmful behaviors, you may want to work with them to come up with alternatives that will not hurt their reputation. For instance, your youngster could explain to their pals that smoking is the cause of their asthma. They either have a significant game the next day and so need to get some rest, so they can not be out partying all night.
Support for addressing dangerous conduct
The majority of teens will not put themselves in dangerous situations even if taking risks is a normal part of the adolescent experience.
It is possible that you need not worry too much if your child remains out beyond their curfew once in a while. But if they consistently engage in behaviors that might have potentially harmful effects, you should think about getting them some assistance and backing. This may involve engaging in activities such as taking illegal substances, getting into fights, drinking excessively, or breaching the law.
Your primary care physician is the ideal person to consult in order to obtain a referral to a psychologist or other mental health expert if you are worried, and can talk to you more about inpatient rehab if necessary.
If you are having trouble having a conversation with your kid about potentially harmful behaviors, it may be helpful to seek a trusted family member or friend of the family to broach the matter on your behalf. Some adolescents find it difficult to broach delicate topics with their parents, including stress, mental health, sexual activity, and drug use; yet, they may be willing to discuss these topics with another person