Have you noticed that teenagers love to take risks? *haha*
- They hang around friends that you know will only hurt them.
- They get a romantic interest before you think they are ready.
- They start looking thin and they aren’t on a diet.
- You notice their values are changing – for the worst!
Sometimes they don’t realise they are taking risks and living on the edge! And sometimes no amount of reasoning and logic seems to prevail with them.
Other negative risk taking can include unsafe friendships, smoking, unsafe sex, dangerous driving, alcohol and drug experimentation, stealing, self-mutilation, eating disorders, sexting, and gang activity.
It can be a worrying time if you are not forewarned! And forearmed!
Teenagers need to experiment and it’s healthy for them to do things that could possibly fail.
Important Social Milestones that every teen must learn to conquer are:
- how to win
- how to lose, and
- how to take risks to help others
Not all risk-taking is bad.
Many risks are good and promote healthy brain development and growth during teenage years.
Risk-taking and rule-breaking is linked to developmental changes in the brain that serve to help teens become healthy, analytical adults.
TIP 1: WHY DON’T YOU BE THE ONE TO SHOW THEM?
GET IN FIRST.
LEAD WITH RISK!
LEAD WITH safe RISKS (just don’t tell them that)
-challenge them with risks!
Our teenagers need to do hard things. It’s soooooo good for them.
The risks you choose will depend on their personality type and their gender. Girls and boys take different risks.. they are just wired differently in their brains, so you just got to go with that – work with it Mumma!
You got this.. remember when the baby boy would climb all over the couch and up the big trees *eeeekkkkk*
Well this is that!
Positive risk-taking builds self-confidence, independence and helps them develp a separate identity and I know you want that for your kids.
TIP 2: TRUST THEM
What was the last *big* thing you trusted your teenager/child with?
Again, to create healthy emotional development in your teenager, they need your trust.
They need to feel that you trust them.
They need to see your trust played out in their everyday life.
So, pick something that is a small stretch for you – and a safe risk for them.
Book it into your diary and theirs and go do it.
Watch and see what a difference it makes to their self-esteem and their self-confidence.
As you encourage safe and positive risk taking you will find that you will ‘win’ them as humans and as your precious “teenagers-fast-becoming-grown-ups”.
Possible positive risk taking…
- team sports,
- volunteer activities,
- making new friends,
- roller coaster rides,
- bunjee jumping,
- group school projects,
- adrenaline sports.
TIP 3: SHARE YOUR RISKY MISTAKES
We’ve all taken risks and made mistakes.
It’s hard to admit our own failures, especially to those we lead but you want your kids to do more and go further than you, don’t you?
Our kids can start from a different starting place in life – IF!!!!
If you tell them your mistakes and show them your lessons learned.
Now I’m not suggesting you tell them all your “learnings” in one go! Timing is everything *lol* but you can give them the golden nugget that they need right now.
WRAPPING IT UP
So, there you have it.
My top 3 tips tried and tested on my own teenagers (now in their 20’s).
I still remember the pain of letting go and letting my teenagers take their (safe) risks. My pain was real. The risk was real. There were some hits and misses. A lot more hits I’m happy to say. But here’s the deal. My husband and I were the safe place to land. And more importantly there were lessons learned. Lessons that are still serving them and protecting them to this day.
So, go on, be the parent and lead the way.
Find the right risk for them and lead them into it and be there to catch them if they fall.
They will absolutely love you for it.
They win. You win. Their future life win’s.
Win’s all around xx
…if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below…
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