Do you want your teen to: Share their thoughts, feelings, problems, and worries with you in a real, meaningful conversation without attitude and sarcasm? So chores and pitch in on family projects without being asked? Enjoy family activities and want to spend time with you? Be responsible and accountable for their studies and their jobs? Solve their problems by discussion rather than avoiding them by, for example, drinking, gambling, having sex, or doing drugs? Care about your feelings, needs, and worries and modify their behavior in response?
So your teenager has the travel bug. Maybe they want to travel abroad to study, develop a second language, or volunteer with a service organization. These excursions are becoming incredibly popular with teens that want to spread their wings of independence and see the world on their own.
Whether we like it or not, adolescents are viewing pornography - intentionally and accidentally - at increasing rates. Sexual curiosity is a normal part of adolescence, but some neuroscientists argue that the brains of adolescents are more sensitive to highly stimulating reward responses. In other words, it is more difficult for adolescent brains to make smarter decisions when presented with potentially harmful, but sexually rewarding possibilities.
Any parent who has survived their child’s middle school years will assure you that you can successfully navigate them, too. Although the honeymoon period of elementary school is over and middle school comes with ample trials and tribulations for most kids, try not to expect the worst. Parents who welcome the challenges of junior high as opportunities for growth will still be smiling by the time they attend their child’s junior high graduation ceremony.
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