help your teen between the ages of 15 and 18 years by using
basic parenting strategies. These include offering open, positive
communication while providing clear and fair rules and consistent guidance.
Support your teen in developing healthy habits and attitudes, help him or her
make wise choices, and offer guidance in how to balance responsibilities.
The following are examples of ways to promote healthy growth and
development in specific areas. But remember that many growth and development
issues overlap. For example, having a healthy body image is important for
physical development and emotional development. Use these ideas as a starting
point to help your teen make good choices that will help him or her grow into a
healthy and happy adult.
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests, to children and teens. Learn more.
Be aware of changing sleep patterns.
Rapidly growing and busy teens need a lot of sleep. The natural sleeping
pattern for many teens is to go to bed later at night and sleep in. This can
make it hard to get up for school. To help your teen get enough rest,
discourage phone and computer use and TV watching after a certain evening
Teach your teen how to take care of his or her skin. Most young people get at
least mild acne. Help your teen manage
acne with daily facial care and, if needed, medicines. Also have your teen avoid sunbathing and tanning salons. Sunburn can damage a child's skin for a lifetime and put him or her at risk for skin cancer. Studies suggest that UV rays from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous as UV rays from the sun. For more information, see the topics
Acne and Skin Cancer, Melanoma.
Help your teen choose healthy foods. By eating a wide variety of basic foods, your teen can get the nutrients he or she needs for normal growth. And he or she will be well-nourished. Help your teen choose healthy snacks, make wise food choices at fast food restaurants, and not skip meals, especially breakfast. Make a point to eat as many meals together at home as possible. A regular mealtime gives you and your family a chance to talk and relax together. It also helps you and your child to have a positive relationship with food. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating for Children.
Offer strategies to avoid tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Set firm, fair, and
consistent limits for your child. Help him or her understand the immediate and
long-lasting results of substance use, such as falling grades and poor health
during adulthood. Practice how to respond when a harmful substance is offered,
such as simply stating "No, thanks" and moving on to another subject. If you
teenager is using drugs or alcohol, it is important to
talk about it. Discuss how he or she gets the alcohol, tobacco, or drugs and in
what kind of setting it is used. Seek advice from a doctor if the behavior
continues. For more information, see: