So often, parenting teens seems to be about picking your battles and discipline. This New Years take a pro active approach and set goals with your teen that encourage good behavior and positive life style changes. Communicate with your teen about what is important to both of you and steps that can be taken towards constructive behaviors. This creates an opportunity to talk to your teens about important issues such as alcohol, drugs, and pregnancy, plus encourages goal oriented behaviors that promote growth and development.
Sample Goals for Teens:
I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
I will take care of my body by exercising three times a week for one hour.
I will maintain an A average in all of my classes.
I will not miss any days of school unless I am ill.
I will avoid being alone with boys/girls and abstain from sexual activity.
I will spend 20 minutes on my chores everyday.
I will be healthier by eating at least one fruit and 1 vegetable everyday.
I will limit my time on the internet or television to 1-2 hours daily.
I will only choose friends with good values.
Regardless of what goal is set, it needs to be positive and attainable. It is important to state exactly how the results of the goal will be measured and the deadline for completion. Some goals may need smaller benchmarks outlining how they will be accomplished. All goals should have an associated reward to celebrate achievements. Be sure everything is documented in writing and the paper is stored in a place where your teen can be mindful of it. Using parent/teen contracts may help in defining the goals and rewards. Follow up with them on their progress regularly and encourage success.