The teenage years are the years in which one develops the desire to fit in. This desire may come with a high cost. During the adolescent years, opportunity and risk seem all the more appealing. A maturational imbalance may prevent teens from good decision-making during this period in their lives as well. While learning from our silly mistakes is an important part of growing up, teens still need guidance on how to better navigate themselves away from risky behavior and towards a rewarding future. First, one must learn the difference between positive and negative risks. Here are some defining characteristics:

Positive risks: benefits an individual’s well-being, legal, socially acceptable, does not present severe negative consequences

Negative risks: harmful towards an individual’s well-being, illegal, socially unacceptable, may have severe consequences

The Risks Our Teens Should Take

As puberty hits so does a new wave of potential risks. As a parent, it is important to acknowledge these risks and learn to address them head on with your child. It is your job to put an emphasis on the good as a way to prevent the bad. First, you should know your child and their risky behaviors. Here are some signs that indicate that your child is a positive risk taker:

  • Internalizes family values
  • Has strong bonds to society
  • Possesses important socially-desirable long-term goals (academic or other)
  • Feels they have more to lose by taking negative risks
  • Is influenced by peers who take positive risks

The Four Friendly Risk Types

As a parent you should constantly suggest new ways to take positive risks for your teen. This starts with a conversation and then you can help them put it into action. Physical, social, academic, and extracurricular risks are a couple of categories you should consider talking with your teen able. What they are drawn to will vary based off of their personal interests. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Physical Risks:

  • Try a new sport
  • Pursue a new fitness goal

Social Risks:

  • Spend time with a new group of people
  • Arrive at a party without knowing anyone
  • Attend a summer camp without friends
  • Attend a rally and hold up a sign 
  • Stand up for something you believe in at school even if it is unpopular
  • Pursue a new friendship with the risk of rejection

Academic Risks:

  • Sign up for a challenging AP course
  • Take a class you know nothing about
  • Join a club that interests you
  • Run for a school office position

Extracurricular Risks:

  • Adopt a new hobby
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Start your own babysitting business or dog walking
  • Set goals to read more in your free time

Solstice West Residential Treatment Center Can Help

Solstice West Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides individual, group, and family therapy to help students heal and improve from every angle. Fitness, nutrition, and academics also play an important role in this program. Solstice gives young women the skills and help they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, healthy, and capable. We can help your family today!

Contact us at (866) 278-3345