The National Poll on Children’s Health did a study about the top ten concerns from parents about their children. Here are their findings.
- Smoking: 40%
- Teen drug abuse: 39%
- Childhood obesity: 34%
- Teen alcohol abuse: 33%
- Driving accidents: 29%
- Teen pregnancy: 28%
- Internet safety: 26%
- School violence: 24%
- Sexually transmitted infection: 24%
- Abuse and neglect: 22%
However, to combat any of these things from being concerns about children, parents must take an active role in their children’s lives.
Here are some tips about keeping these things from happening.
If the parents do not smoke, this is best. From a young age, talk to children about what cigarettes do to their lungs and how they are not healthy. If the parents do smoke, this can be more difficult. Still talk to them about the dangers of cigarettes. Be honest about smoking and talk about how it causes addictions that can be extremely difficult to end.
Teen Drug Abuse
Talk to children about using drugs and what different drugs do. Be honest if you ever tried drugs. Relate the bad experiences you had with drugs.
From an early age, promote healthy eating. If your child only eats a few things, make sure to alternate these things and serve small portions. Meal times that are spent at restaurants should still have healthy amounts of food. Set this example when you eat. Also, set the example of exercising on a regular basis.
Teen Alcohol Abuse
Be a responsible parent and do not constantly tell teens how negative alcohol is. When you feel that your children are old enough to try alcohol, try it on a special night such as Christmas or New Years. Stay there with them when they try it. If they like it, allow them to drink only a small glass. Tell them how too much alcohol negatively affects the body. Tell them that alcohol should only be used in moderation. This way they are less likely to rebel by drinking.
Teens want to drive. There is obviously no stopping that from happening. However, make sure that your teens take proper driving courses. If they do not understand the lessons given by the instructor, make sure they take another course with a different instructor. Sit down with them and talk about driving, being careful on the road, and how accidents occur. This will always be a concern, but do not be too pushy about the issue. Being there for teens is the best thing you can do.
Be open and honest about sex and how babies are made. Let children know this information when they are ready. There are plenty of books that are perfectly decent for small children to read. Think of them as a step up from Once Upon A Potty. Then, set a good example. If you are married, then obviously there is nothing wrong with having sexual relations with your spouse. However, if you are not married, do not let your children catch you having sex outside of marriage. Do not deny your children the presence of a good role model of the opposite gender even if he or she is just a friend.
This is always a concern. Teach children about being responsible on the Internet. Teach them how it is not responsible to give away information to strangers that would enable them to find them. Talk about how this includes where they may practice sports, team names, and uniform numbers.
It is true that parents cannot control the other students. However, they do need to talk to their own children. Teach them that it is not okay to go to school and start fights. Teach them to stay out of fights and to talk to teachers. Tell them how it is much better if their classmates make fun of them than having to spend time in the hospital.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
Teach children the same things as when talking about pregnancy. Once children are old enough to understand better that diseases can be transferred through sex, teach them about safe sex.
Abuse and Neglect
If you are a good parent, this really should not be a concern. The only things you need to worry about would be abuse from others. Talk with your children every day. Understand what is happening in their lives.