These support systems can bolster parental approaches while also opening the door to deeper conversations with your teens.
USING TECHNOLOGY RESPONSIBLY
Reports abound about teens spending an inordinate amount of time online and not in the real world. Parents can rein in those cyberspace hours by checking out the built-in controls already in place on social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Facebook that can establish guidelines around time, content and updates. In addition, apps such as the free Google Family Link for cell phones put parents in control and double as a location finder.
GETTING A GRIP ON MONEY
It’s never too early to talk about finances, but when teens start earning their own money it’s almost imperative. In the digital age, learning to master credit card usage is a must, too. Several companies offer kid-friendly cards that reinforce lessons around responsible spending and encourage saving. Check out GoHenry, Greenlight and BusyKid, three cards that help parents track their child’s spending.
DRIVING SAFELY AND SMARTLY
Teaching your teen to drive can easily make the Top 10 list of most terrifying parental experiences. De-stress the process by calling on the pros who can guide new drivers through the lessons without being emotionally involved. At the five area locations of 1Act Driving Schools, teens can take one-on-one sessions for the basics and add on defensive driver training as well as courses in DUI and risk reduction.
FOCUSING ON SCHOOL
College is now on many families’ minds as early as grade school. Plus, more institutions are waiving the SAT and ACT qualifying tests, so middle and high school grades now play a larger role in a student’s future. Teens with a dream college in mind are under pressure to perform with excellence in the core courses as well as piling on Advanced Placement or dual-enrollment college programs. If it’s been a long time since you had physics, consider recruiting a tutor who can work one-on-one with your teen to reinforce concepts, prep for exams and hone study skills. One of the area’s top companies is Beth Bristow Tutoring Services in Buckhead that offers a range of support systems, including SAT and ACT prep sessions.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
As mentioned, planning for college is starting sooner than later as families set up savings accounts at birth and encourage their kids to keep up those grades. But when it comes to picking a college, parents quickly learn the game has changed dramatically. Professional counselors specialize in finding the best fit for your child and outlining an action plan to get there, from planning campus visits to crafting solid application essays. Academicinfluence.com provides a wealth of info about higher education, including an extensive list of licensed college counselors in the metro area.
Atlanta-based writer and editor contributing to a number of local and state-wide publications. Instructor in Georgia State’s Communication department and Emory’s Continuing Education division.