4 Harsh Realities for Parents to Consider as Your Child Enters Adolescence

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Parenting isn’t easy.

You can do everything “by the book” in terms of raising your child, but that doesn’t guarantee a problem-free relationship down the line.

This is especially true as your children become teenagers and begin the path toward adulthood.

Many parents make the mistake of assuming that the worst will never happen to them; however, this is not a proactive approach to parenting. As such, it’s important to understand some of the harsher realities of what you and your child could face to mentally prepare yourself for a tough situation together.

But what sort of hardships are we talking about? Below we’ve outlined four issues for parents of all shapes and sizes to consider.

Substance Abuse

The reality remains that teenagers will almost inevitably be introduced to illicit drugs in some way, shape or form by the time they enter high school or college.

Anyone dealing with suspected drug abuse on behalf of their children certainly isn’t alone. According to the Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, parents have no reason to feel ashamed given that a staggering two million people enter rehab annually.

Drug abuse represents a worst nightmare scenario for many parents, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope or a road toward recovery

Relationships You Disagree With

Most parents understand that they have to relinquish control over their children sooner rather than later for the sake of letting then grow. This means allowing them to make their own decisions in regard to their personal relationships, romantic or otherwise.

If you suspect your child has fallen in with a bad crowd or unsavory relationship, tread lightly when addressing the issue. Pushing too hard can indeed backfire if you act unreasonably. Instead, make a point to be involved in your child’s life and open-minded regarding who they hang out with, all the while watching for potential red flags.

Questionable Career Choices

Simply put, it’s a difficult time career-wise for young people looking toward their futures. College tuition is high and universities are becoming more and more selective. Meanwhile, teens might look at peers becoming social media success stories thinking that they can carve out a one-in-a-million career path themselves while neglecting school or work.

From suggesting an unconventional career to pursuing a degree you disagree with, you can’t always expect your child to follow your “plan.”

However, you can help your child choose a career without trying to dictate their lives. Ideally, you can focus on their creative and academic strengths at a young age to help push them in the right direction career-wise.

Trouble Managing Money

Millennials are keeping less and less in their savings accounts, spelling bad news for future generations in regard to money management.

While you may not want to raise your child with the expectation that you’ll support them forever, the reality is that they may need a bit of help financially as times have certainly changed. This doesn’t mean your kids are doomed, though. Just know that the amount of time it takes to work up to a well-paying job or marketable career goals may not be as quick as you think.

The takeaway? Parents shouldn’t expect their children to be 100% economically self-sufficient as soon as they become adults. That said, teaching teenagers good money habits is a brilliant move to fill in the gaps regarding financial education they might have missed in school.

While you shouldn’t look at these problems as something inevitable, you should at the very least acknowledge them as potential “what-if’s.” By understanding the potential stumbles your children could have now, you can take proactive steps to help protect them and keep them on track as they enter adulthood.

Author: Susan Melony