Source:hawaiipacifichealth.org

Some people say that having children is the hardest thing they have ever done. When kids are small, it’s far easier to keep them on the right path, but as they get older, it isn’t always so simple. All you can do is try your best to guide and teach them and hope that they feel comfortable enough to come to you when things get tough.

There are some fundamentals that we should all try and speak to our kids about when the appropriate time comes. Here are 4 things all parents should discuss with their teenage children.

Source:expatchild.com

Financial matters

Many adults have no idea how a mortgage works, what the base lending rate is, or how to get the best return on investment. Get them a bank account with a debit card and a savings account and teach them how important it is to save, budget, and account for every penny. If you can teach day to day finances to your kids from an early age, it could prove invaluable when they become adults.   An understanding of the above points will hopefully lead to a more serious and individualized approach to their financial concerns. Once an adult’s relationships and finances are a well-oiled machine, they can better weather the financial storms that society throws their way.

Education and career

Source:mansfieldadulteducation.com

Many teenagers won’t have a clue what they want to do when they leave school, so it’s a good idea to have discussions about careers and education from time to time. If your teens are nearing an age where they will be leaving school in a year or two, discuss whether they see themselves going to university or college. If attending university is of interest, establish which may be the best options for their chosen subjects and see how they fare in the world rankings of best universities – you can do so at universitycompare.com. Perhaps they would prefer to go to college or get into a trade and work their way up the career ladder. Whilst you might want to push for them to get a degree, you need to remember that it has to be their decision. All you can do is offer experience and guidance.

Teach your children the difference between right and wrong, both in school and in the home.

“Without doubt, it is the parent who decides what kind of punishment is appropriate in a given situation and who is responsible for the outcome,” wrote Dr. Carolyn Olson, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and School of Nursing at the University of Maryland, in her 2006 book, Righteous Parents and Cruel Punishment: Challenges to the First-principle Approach. “If you can decide what is and isn’t right and wrong, your child is more likely to respect the difference and to refrain from acting out

Sex

Source:edition.cnn.com

Yes, it’s the one that most of us dread – the sex talks. Whilst your children will have learned the basics from school, it’s a good idea to let them know that you are open to discuss anything they might want to know. Not only can this help them feel comfortable talking about any sexual issues at a time when they are open and comfortable about their bodies, but it can also help you respond in a way that is supportive.

Granted, you might feel odd about it, but it’s far better than your child feeling confused or vulnerable. Keep it light-hearted and make sure they are aware of how important it is to be safe should they decide to become sexually active.

It can be more of a marathon than a sprint, so be willing to talk a lot and make sure you are always available for them. Make sure you know how and when to drop the conversation. Your most important ally is your fear. Let them have some room to breathe. Let them know you are here, but you also want to keep the conversation fun, interesting, and engaging. Take the conversation anywhere it may go.  If you have learned how to see the difficult situations and avoid them, you can take the conversation to places you may never have gone

Bullying

Source:psychprofessionals.com.au

Due to social media, cyber-bullying is at its worst these days, and so it’s extremely important to let your teens know that they can talk to you should they ever feel helpless or threatened. Many teens have been so badly bullied it has led to them taking their own lives, so it’s something you must keep an eye on. Many parents check their kid’s phones or tablets regularly to ensure their safety. If you do go down this route, it’s a good idea to let your teenagers know it will be happening. If you don’t, it could lead to them feeling that their privacy has been invaded and a host of other issues further down the line.

Changes in their body

Pre-teenagers are eager to change their image. The obvious answer is to demonstrate that you are not the “bad” role model. Try these suggestions.Be upfront with your child about their appearance. You can help your teen create a body image that fits with their self-image as they grow older.Don’t turn your child into a doctor. You should have a sense of humor and know the range of health conditions they can have without getting an expensive prescription.

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