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Finding the Answers to Puberty's Questions

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Set up routines. Help your teenager set up routines for getting homework done before your they get on the computer. Model the behavior you want to see. Think about your own use of technology and what kind of example you are setting. I know that I definitely spend way too much time on my iPhone at times and I have to consider how that is affecting my kids. Show some understanding. Understand that remaining connected to friends online and with texting is important to your teen. Of course, you want them to balance their priorities, but their social relationships are necessary.

Implement new rules. If you are creating new rules consider sitting down with your teen to discuss what is fair and reasonable, giving them a chance to have some input.

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Then be flexible if your new rules are not working and adjust them as needed. I believe that you as a parent are the expert on your children. I often encourage parents to trust their own instincts about how to handle situations with their teens. You know if your teen likes to take risks, if he has a track record of making poor choices or if he has friends that you know are trouble. There is a good chance that you have a gut sense about whether or not you can trust your teen and if you should be closely involved.

How do I teach them to want to make good choices about what they watch? So its not me setting the boundary but good disernment becomes intrinsic for them? As parents, we do our best to give our kids the tools that they need to be responsible and make good choices. It is our job to teach them, protect them and support them when they get themselves in trouble. The challenging part about the teen years is that your teenager may not have the same value that you do about making good choices. In fact they may want to do the opposite. The truth is that you will likely need to set the important boundaries throughout the teen years while you pray that they are learning good discernment.

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Developing maturity and critical thinking is a process and for some teens it takes more time than others. Sometimes, it takes quite a bit of patience on our part. Realize that you are providing important life lessons for your teen, even when it seems that all your wisdom is not soaking in. Cyberbullying has been a huge topic in the last few years. Bullies have been around forever, but social media has provided a powerful platform for threats, humiliation and harrassment.

This is where equipping your kids with good information can really help. It is important to teach your teen morals they can apply to any situation, whether they are behind a keyboard or not.

Common Questions About Teenage Puberty

Sandra Dupont , a teen therapist in Los Angeles has some great tips on this subject. Be kind, courteous, honest and polite when online. Lessons you have learned about social behavior applies to your online presence as well. Your words online represent who you are as a person. Be sure you represent yourself well. If you are upset with someone, have the courage and consideration to speak respectfully to them about your concerns. Bashing others in an annonymous fashion does not resolve problems. Although possibly humorous at the time, you really do not want photos of yourself or others floating around forever on the Internet for all to see.

Even though you may not be posting the the damaging commentary, viewing hurtful information about others for the sake of your entertainment is still just as wrong. Speak out against online bullying. Just because you read something online does not mean it is true. Protect your password. Then copy and save the cyber-bullying message in a file to use for evidence should you decide to make a report to school, police or the Internet provider. The truth is that we can never protect our kids from everything in life that may hurt them. However, we can take some important steps to decrease the likelihood that they are exposed to inappropriate information, such as drugs or pornography.

The best start is with early education about online safety before your child is ever online without supervision. You can install filtering software on all of your computers to block out the most inappropriate sites. You can enable parental controls on iPods and iPads that your kids use. You can encourage your kids to talk to you when they stumble upon something they know they should not be seeing.

Do All Teens Think the Same?

Assure them that they will not get in trouble for being honest. The tough part is that teenagers are always exploring, discovering and wanting to learn about life, especially the things that are forbidden. As a parent you can do your best to set them up for success and then try to be OK with the fact that they are going to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

Sexting has had a lot of mention in the media in the last couple of years. Basically, it refers to the sending, receiving or forwarding of sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photos through text message or email. This is serious because of several unexpected negative consequences, including embarrassment from such pictures spreading to unintended people, emotional harm and damaged reputations. Sexting can even become a legal issue because it is essentially possession of child pornography. You can have honest conversations with your teenager about the specific issue of sexting and talk about how to handle such a situation if they are ever in that position.

If you find out that your teenager has been involved in sexting make sure they stop immediately.

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Find out if the pictures were sent to anyone else. Delete the photos. Try to have a calm and supportive talk about what happened. Communicate with other parents if necessary. If the situation is more serious you may want to consult a lawyer, the police, or other experts on the law in your jurisdiction. Here is a resource with more information on how to handle this difficult issue. Click HERE. I would say that the social skills your teenager has developed in life will likely translate to the online world.

If your son has a crude sense of humor and likes playing pranks, there is a good possibility that he will be doing some of those things online. They conducted a study that involved 65, college students to prove that being taught financial concepts in high school can affect their money management behavior in college. The study revealed that those who took financial literacy classes in high school displayed signs of being more financially responsible.

They were found to make better decisions about debt, paid their dues on time and did not go beyond the limit of their credit cards. This proves that starting them young with financial lessons like credit management pays off in the end. With the rising financial problems of young adults because of student loans, you should understand that they need to be educated immediately. That will help them make better decisions about their debts. You may be asking, why are we concentrating on teens?

Well, they are at a mental stage that allows them to understand debt and the reason why people use it. Not only that, this is the perfect time to prepare them for the financial responsibilities that they will face once they are in college. If student loans are imminent in their future, then you have to make sure they understand credit management.

As part of the lesson to manage debt, your teen needs to learn about credit card debt and credit scores. To help guide you, here are the important questions that your teen should be able to answer on their own. What is a credit card? It is a purchasing tool that consumers can use in lieu of cash. Instead of using your money, you are using the money of the creditor. That means, this amount has to be paid back in full. How can you use credit cards without ending up in too much debt? The best credit management tip to stay away from credit card debt is to avoid carrying over a balance to the next billing cycle.

That will keep you from paying finance charges that is just a waste of you money. Make sure to pay the bills in full within the grace period to avoid added payments. What are interest rates and finance charges? The interest rate is also known as an APR Annual Percentage Rate that is used to calculate the finance charge that will be added to the debt carried over to the next month. That is considered as profit for the credit card company. If you do not carry a balance, then you do not have to worry about this. What is the ideal amount of credit cards to own? One is a card that you can use on groceries or in a retail shop that you regularly buy items from.

The other is a low interest card that you can use for emergencies. Anything beyond this is excessive. How should a credit card be used? Since this credit management lesson is for a teen, let them know that the credit card should only be used for emergencies. If they plan to use it on unnecessary expenses, they have to make sure that it will be paid off immediately to avoid incurring additional fees.

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That is a waste of money. A good rule is, if they cannot afford to pay a non-emergency expense in cash, then they should not use credit on it. When a credit card debt is paid off, should it be closed? It will make it lower so if you do not have to, just keep your cards and practice credit management to keep it from accumulating debt. What is a credit score?

This is a number that is calculated to measure your creditworthiness.

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It speaks of your credit management behavior. If you have a bad record of payments, then that will give you a low credit score. This is computed based on 5 factors: your payment history, debt amount, credit history, type of debts and new accounts. How can I view my credit score?

You need to get your credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.