Last Update on November 7, 2016 // Written by Hank
As a parent, I'm sure you've been warned about the teenage years. Especially nowadays with the way that information flows around, and how social media is changing the way kids communicate and what activities they're interested in, trying to decipher the behavior of a different generation will seem like an impossible challenge.
But within that challenge, you have to do the best that you can, and in terms of observation, there are a few things you should watch for when your kids hit their teenage years. Specifically for the cases of things like alcohol use, relationships that change behavior, secrets or lying, sudden changes in appearance, or the onset of identifiable hormonal changes - you're going to want to be on high alert.
Signs of Alcohol Use
Strictly from a legal standpoint, your kids aren't supposed to drink until they're 21. However, there's a perpetual cultural chasm with regard to that law, and many kids end up with problems with alcohol. Make sure that you know the signs of use and abuse, and if there are changes in your teenager's behavior that coincide, make sure to start that discussion up freely and without judgment.
Relationships That Change Behavior
In the teenagers years, the social structure of life changes. If you notice that your kid is hanging out with new people, that's one thing. But if the people that your child chooses to be with are creating drastic shifts in the behavior patterns that you're used to, make sure that you want closely to if this is moving in the positive or negative direction. The crowd that you son or daughter chooses to be a part of can have a tremendous influence on their life.
Becoming Secretive or Lying
Have you ever wonder why your teenager might lie to you? The answer may feel like it should be simple, but is often more much complicated than it could be taken at face value. If you catch you kid in a lie, make sure that you take a step back to observe the situation as a whole before passing judgment or punishing before you know the whole story.
Sudden Changes In Appearance
Though some changes are definitely expected in terms of changing clothing style and appearance during teenage years, if they come about abruptly, you should pay close attention for a while to the actions and behaviors of your teenager. Sometimes it's a simple as a change in music preference, or artistic vision of life, but other times a dynamic change in appearance can indicate depression or confusion.
When Hormonal Changes Are Occurring
With teenager-hood comes adolescence and rapidly changing internal chemical structures. Along with these things, behaviors can be a backseat passenger. Again, changes over time are no big deal, but if you realize that the normalcy of your kid's behavior is fluctuating more than might be logical, be sure to be especially observant and sensitive to the reasoning behind it.