10 Topics You Must Discuss With Your Teens

As children get older there are things that parents should begin to discuss with them. By the time they reach their teenage years, it's imperative that certain topics are talked about openly and honestly. One of the problems today is that teens are often filled with misinformation. Ignorance can lead to horrible life decisions and mistakes. Parents are responsible for arming their children with the knowledge that they need. It is imperative that they learn specific things at home, from people that they trust and want the best for them. Here are ten topics you must discuss with your teens.

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10 Bullying

One of the first things parents must discuss with their children is what to do if they are being bullied. Since bullying can cause feelings of shame, it's also important that parents learn to recognize the signs of a child being bullied. Often, children do not want to tell because they fear the actions of their parents may only make the situation worse. Parents should also discuss what it means to be a bully and what the consequences of that type of behavior are. They should also know how to recognize signs that indicate their child may be bullying someone else.

9 Safe Driving

There’s nothing more exciting to a teen than earning the privilege to drive. For parents, there’s nothing more nerve-racking. The “don’t drink and drive” rule has been installed in teenagers for years. However, there are other things that they need to know about safe driving. Talking on the phone or texting while driving is just as dangerous as anything else. Mainly because the focus is taken off of the road. It's important that parents discuss all of the rules of safe driving. This also includes not letting the wrong people into their car, whether it is a stranger or a friend that is in a bad situation.

8 Marijuana

Marijuana can be a tough topic to talk about with teens for a number of reasons. At one time, marijuana was viewed as a gateway drug. Today, it is being legalized in various states and used in alternative medical treatments for various illnesses. This can make it hard for parents to impart “no drug” rules. The most important thing is that parents discuss the effects and consequences of recreational use and encourage open, honest communication. Parents should understand the reality that there’s a great chance their teen will experiment with marijuana. Clearly explain what is expected and what the consequences will be if the expectations are not met.

7 Recreational Prescription Drug Use

A lot of teens experiment with using prescription drugs for recreation. The belief is that since the drugs aren’t illegal, they cannot be as harmful. Parents must discuss how dangerous and habit forming this behavior can be. Explain that prescription drugs can be just as addictive and destructive as anything that can be purchased on the streets.

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As a preventative measure, parents should be aware of the signs of drug use and addiction. Keeping prescription drugs safely put away is a way of removing the temptation. Discussing the effects and consequences of recreational prescription drug use, openly, can help deter teens’ curiosity.

6 Creative Alcohol Use

Alcohol use and addiction among teens have risen just a much as illegal and prescription drug use. However, today’s teens have gotten creative in how they introduce alcohol into their bodies. From inserting alcohol-soaked tampons to eating alcohol-infused gummy candies, the danger of this behavior seems to be lost on them. Parents must discuss the side effects of such behavior, in addition to the effects that drinking alcohol can have on the body. Yes, teens are going to be teens. Some will experiment. Parents must ensure that they’re teens have all of the information they need and aren’t afraid to come to them when they need to.

5 Depression

Depression is another topic that is tough to talk about with teens. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health issues that most adults are afraid to seek help. Imagine how hard it can be for a teen to open up. Parents must discuss depression, openly. Explain to their teen what it is and how it affects people. It's important that parents create an environment that allows their teen to feel safe enough to come to them and share how they feel. The ability to feel secure can make all the difference between getting help in time and it being too late.

4 Pornography

This is one of the most important topics that parents must discuss with teens. It's not unusual for teens to be curious about sex. Their hormones are out of control and they often don’t understand, especially in the beginning. One of the reasons teens turn to porn is because they are embarrassed about the thoughts, feelings and physical reactions their bodies are having to certain things. The goal is to differentiate pornography from real life. Explain to your teen that pornography is about fantasy and that it isn't a template for real-life relationships. This is another topic that parents must let their children know that they are comfortable talking to them about.

3 Oral Sex

Sex is prevalent in today’s culture. It's in music, movies, commercials that sell soda. Open communication about sex with teens is essential, especially when it comes to oral sex. The misconception that oral sex is not sex often finds teens in situations that don’t end the way that they expected. Parents must discuss that oral sex is just as personal as intercourse, if not more so. It's important that teens understand that sex should not be just a physical thing. As uncomfortable as it may be for both teen and parent, having an open-door policy aids in prevention, as opposed to reparation.

2 Sexting

Although it doesn’t consist of physical contact, sexting is another sexual behavior that parents must discuss with teens. First, anything sent over any network can always be retrieved. Second, they are putting themselves in a position to be embarrassed and humiliated by having extremely personal things in the hand of someone else.

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It's important that parents discuss positive self-esteem and how to set boundaries with their teens. Explain to them the consequences of putting themselves in such a vulnerable situation. Sexting can result in teens finding themselves in compromising situations that violate their privacy.

1 Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is something that parents will always have to discuss with their children, no matter what age. However, when children reach their teenage years, there is so much more for them to contend with. They want to be liked, accepted and part of the popular crowd. As a result, they often find themselves trying to impress the people they believe reflect those very things. Too often, it's at the cost of their own morals and beliefs. Parents must discuss the importance of individuality and stick to what they know is right. Explain to teens that if the pressure isn’t positive, there will be a negative outcome.

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