As children get older many parents believe their child would like to spend more time with their friends, watching Netflix, or texting instead of talking. However, research proves the opposite. It is very important to take advantage of school holiday breaks to invest in your teenager. Here are a few things you may not know about the benefits of spending time with your teen.
Talking with your children helps their grades. If grades are important to you than you need to spend more time talking with your child. It's proven parents who communicate regularly with their children do better academically. Put the iPhone down and invest in a conversation.
Eating dinner together lowers risk of violence in your teen. This doesn't have to be a “Christmas Dinner” every night. The pressures of two income households and single parent families make this table dinner difficult, but not impossible. The plates can be paper. The meal can be sandwiches. The cups do not have to match. It's about the people around the table engaging in a meaningful conversation. This is especially important in single parent households. Even if it's fast food...eat it together!
Teens who have parents present are less hostile. Pass on the party. They need you. Holiday parties for the office, church, volunteer committees, school events, concerts, and other holiday obligations can leave families reeling from December to January. There is no rule saying you have to attend every party and family function. This can lead to many nights of teenagers home alone and unsupervised. Teenagers who spend more time alone are more likely to become hostile. They might act like they don't want to spend time with you, but trust me because THEY DO! Your time spent with them now will emotionally pay off in dividends.
It can be very easy to get lost in the hustle bustle of the holiday, but this week look for ways to engage your teen in conversation. Make sure you make an effort to eat together even if it's in the car on the go. Please do not forget your teen needs your supervision, your conversation, and your engagement in the time you are spending with them. Make this holiday break the best yet!
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.