Think Before You Act
Proper judgement and good decision making are some of the hardest things to pass along to your teens. It has nothing to do with their intelligence or marks in school, the region of teenagers' brains responsible for rational thinking is not fully developed until age 25.
Due to the developmental differences between teens and adults, when it comes time to make tough decisions (especially in stressful environments) teens often have a difficult time overcoming the power of their own emotions.
Emotions can seriously cloud a teen's judgement between right and wrong. When put on the spot a teen may not be able to rationalize even their most recent decisions with actual words.
As your child develops into a more mentally and physiologically mature adult, the region of the brain responsible for rational thinking becomes more involved in the decision making process and less is left up to the unpredictability of raw emotions.
Signs Your Child Needs a Hand
Your child's overall demeanor can vary dramatically from day to day. However, if there is a noticeable change in mood or behavior that persists for weeks, it could be an indication of a more serious health complication like depression.
Be observant and offer your help and advice. Learn to admit when the situation is out of your control. It is extremely important to seek the necessary medical treatment in cases of depression.
Providing Guidance to Your Children
As a parent, you are the most relatable and relevant role model in your child's life. Friends can provide effective guidance too, but not in the same lasting ways that a parent’s influence can have on a child's success in the future.
Train your child to always consider the possible consequences of impulsive actions. Constant reminders will shape the manner in which your child approaches decision-making going forward.
Remind your teen of some of the difficult situations that they successfully overcame in the past using a confident and resilient approach. Children are good at living in the moment, so good they often forget about their abilities to change the outcome of the present situation for the better.
Keep your child engaged by giving attention to their hobbies and interests. Show them you are aware of their likes and dislikes, but don't feel the need to become too involved in the actual activity.
Provide your teen a comfortable outlet for voicing their deepest problems and concerns. Make your home an emotionally safe place for communication and discussion.