11 to 18 Years
Developmental Stages & Accomplishments
• Youth pushes for freedom of choice and greater independence.
• Experiences physical and emotional changes. Ability to anticipate outcomes is limited and erratic. Teens often think, “it won’t happen to me”.
• Strong need for peer approval and experimentation.
- Teen must learn laws and rules of the road.
- Set firm rules:
• Teen must always wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger.
• Never drive impaired or with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs.
• Obey speed limits.
• Minimize distractions (for example, no cell phone use, no combing hair, etc.)
• Do not drive when drowsy.
- Develop a teen/parent agreement with rules and expectations.
- Require helmet use on bikes, skateboards, mopeds and motorcycles.
- Discuss dangers of racing.
- Do not let youths ride in back of pick-up trucks.
- Keep car in good condition – proper tire air pressure, good brakes – and buy a car in good condition.
Alcohol & Drug Use
- Make sure teen receives education on dangers of drugs and alcohol.
- Know where your child is as much as possible.
- Know their friends and where they hang out.
- Be available to give rides.
- Know the warning signs – if they talk about committing suicide, depression, aggressive or disruptive behavior, change in behavior or grades in school, giving away favorite objects.
- Signs of depression: constant feelings of hopelessness or guilt, loss of interest in activities, weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping patterns.
- If you are concerned, take action – call the suicide hotline listed in back of book.
- Make sure teen knows basic rules of water safety:
- Do not swim alone.
- Don’t dive into unknown water or shallow breaking waves.
- Check surf conditions with lifeguards.
- Let people know where you are going to swim.
- Use protective equipment recommended for each sport.
- Drink water before, during and after activity.
- Stretch and warm up before and after activity.
- Do not continue to play with injuries.
- Keep guns locked away and ammunition stored separately from guns.
- Check if homes where teen visits have guns.
- Teach proper handling of guns – do not clean gun when others are present.
- Keep safety lock on at all times.
- Be consistent with rules and consequences.
- Be available to listen without judgment.
- Enroll child in after school activities or other interests.
- Teach how to resolve conflicts without aggression.
- Regulate Internet and video game use.
- Pay attention to warning signs of aggressive behavior – bullying, cruelty to animals, fire setting, alcohol or drug use, angry outbursts.
Dating Violence Prevention
- Talk about and model healthy relationships.
- Keep communication open and non-judgmental.
- Discuss unexplained bruises and behavior changes.
- Talk about sexuality; how to say no and what to do in bad situations.