The bridge between childhood and adulthood is a precarious one called adolescence!
WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD SAFETY RAILING?
The child needs to cross this bridge on their own- but how can we help to provide a good strong railing so that they don’t fall into the perilous water below?
Here are 10 factors that can help build a good, protective “railing:”
1. Family – be there on the sideline, take interest, give love, even if it is responded to with “grunts.”
2. Sensible peers – help your child to discern between sensible peers and those who maybe a bad influence… peers are so important to them at this stage and such a major influence.
3. A good “radar” – a solid foundation of rights and wrongs should be built up throughout childhood to prepare teenagers for the difficult years, in which they certainly need a good “radar” to sniff out right from wrong.
4. Role models/mentors – that’s us folks! Set a good example. Other role models include family and godparents, grandparents, adult friends etc.
5. Teachers– a good teacher / housemaster radiating solid values can make such a difference to a teenager.
6. Sport – distraction, camaraderie, getting rid of hormone-driven anger and frustrations, exercise, fun: there are countless, countless benefits of exercise in teenagers.
7. Community– the greater community can help to form a village to protect its adolescents.
8. Spirituality – a solid spiritual foundation, a worship community, a church congregation, youth groups- all can help to give the adolescent a sense of purpose and belonging.
9. Enough sleep – no explanation needed (just think how you feel when sleep deprived – short tempered, emotional … exaggerating the normal adolescent emotions!)
10. Healthy diet– a healthy, balanced diet is needed to facilitate the rapid growth during adolescence – food fads and over-consumption of sugar can lead to irritability and poor functioning.