Social Work - Tips for Parents and Families

Tips for Parents and Families:

  • Listen to your teenager--let them talk about their problems with you before jumping in with a solution.  Teens need adults to believe in them unconditionally and expect them to succeed.
  • Encourage your teenager to get involved in activities that engage him or her with the community in a positive way.  For some this may be sports or drama, for others in may involve a club or volunteering in the community.
  • Set clear expectations that you want to know where your teen is and when they'll be back.  Discuss with them the consequences of the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Help your teen to identify other adults (such as a social worker, counselor, teacher, church youth leader, or close relative) to turn to when they want to talk.
  • Let your high schooler know that it's okay to seek help from a counselor, health care professional, or trusted adult if needed. 
  • Encourage your teen to explore solutions.  In many cases, they will know about the solutions--for example, extra help after school--- but they may need your encouragement to try them.
  • Everyone experiences anger and stress!  Help your teen to find acceptable ways of working through these feelings.
  • Teenagers can be quite impulsive--never let a moment of despair become true tragedy.  If you child seems depressed or moody, be certain that he cannot access firearms, prescription drugs, or other dangerous items in your home.  Talk to your teen about their feelings and take them to a professional if you are deeply concerned.

(Adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics)

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