Troubled Teens: You can keep your child away from gangs and drugs

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Teenage can be the most difficult stage for both parents and child. Many teenagers wade through this sensitive time easily, but for some it is difficult transition from a child to an adult. Families, especially parents of difficult teenagers need to be patient.

Independence is the base of all the discussions, arguments during this challenging period of teens. Young heart and mind wants to be free, to test their limits and find their own way in the maze of ‘Real’ world.

Here are few things you can do to help your teenager through this challenging yet very interesting time of life:

First, do remember now your ‘baby’ is all grown up so give them respect and acknowledge that your teenager can also offer some good advice.

Second, it’s time to modify the ground rules you had when your child was growing up. Set some basic rules on which both of you agree and if your child bends anyone of them remind your child on what was agreed upon and you expect him or her to keep the promise from their side.

Alter your daily regimen and include your teenager more in things you can do together. Engage them more. Yes, make them part of decision making, involve them in after dinner discussions. We as adults need to reflect back on our years as teenager and realize what all we expected from our parents and how our parents handled us.

First few years of teenage are make and break years; either your child will blossom into a beautiful, confident and warm hearted adult or might turn into a self-centered, self-destructive adult.

This is the age when youngsters are easily lured by drugs and get involved with gangs. Gang prevention is high on agenda of government, there are so many non-profits working to keep you child out of gangs and imminent danger that comes with it, but it is you who can actually direct the energies of youth towards constructive things.

Long-term studies of adolescents in Canadian cities suggest that the most important risk factors for gang involvement include:

  • negative influences in the youth’s life
  • limited attachment to the community
  • over-reliance on anti-social peers
  • poor parental supervision
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • poor educational or employment potential
  • a need for recognition and belonging

Experts say that family disorganization, including broken homes and parental drug and/or alcohol abuse; family violence, neglect and drug addiction; family members in a gang; lack of adult and parental role models, parental criminality, parents with violent attitudes, siblings with anti-social behaviour; extreme economic deprivation are some of the reasons the youth get involved in drugs.

Community also plays a role in the life path of a youth. Social disorganization at community level including high poverty and residential mobility; High crime neighbourhood; Presence of gangs in the neighbourhood can influence a young mind.

 

Building positive relation with youth, keeping them engaged in positive and constructive projects is only means to keep the youth safe and out of gangs. Don’t be sarcastic. Negative comments on their personality can be disastrous because teenage is all about looking better than everyone around.

You don’t like that tattoo, don’t say, “What have you done? You don’t look good at all!” instead say, “I would have liked if you would have involved me in this decision of yours. “

Don’t lecture, be assertive but not commanding. You need to remember your child loves you as much as you do  but now they have their own perspective about things, respect that and tell them you expect them to respect your point of view  too. Be understanding.

Simple thumb rule of having a cordial and warm relation with your teenaged child is educate them that with freedom comes responsibility and last but not least let them know that you are always there to listen without being judgmental.

Be a sport!  Be a support!

Your baby is out of cradle now. Be the guiding light that is warm and approachable, always.

Data Source: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/