Teens and the Advantages of Risk-taking

by Jason 6/30/2015 7:00 AM

If you think your teenager is dramatic, you may be right: dramatic brain changes experienced during adolescence may explain increased exploration and risk-taking.

So don’t fret, parents! It’s normal (and necessary) for teenagers to take risks. However, you’ll want to  help them find healthy and safe ways to take risks.

Go For It: Healthy Risks 

Healthy risk-taking has a chance for failure, but can also be rewarding and surprisingly safe. Teens can step out of their comfort zone with artistic activities, volunteer opportunities and sports.

Many teenagers thrive in athletic environments. Through sports, adolescents are able to foster friendships, stay in shape and develop leadership skills. You can make sports safer for your teen – buy him or her a mouthguard. Contact sports, such as football, lacrosse and hockey, require protection. Don’t let teens risk their smile. Find out what sports require mouthguards.

Don’t Chance It: Unhealthy Risks

Not all teens regularly repeat unhealthy habits. However, among adolescent health risk behaviors, “regular tobacco use” comes out on top.

Give your teen more reasons to stay away from cigarettes. Smoking negatively affects all parts of the mouth, including:

·      Lips: Over time, smokers develop wrinkles around the lips.

·      Teeth: Cigarettes stain your teeth yellow and make your breath smell.

·      Gums: Smoking contributes to gum disease, often leading to tooth loss.

Parenting a teenager can be tricky. Try to remember that teens are meant to take risks – just make sure he or she is taking the right ones.

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