Ever so often we see stories in the media about teenage drug addiction, involvement in toxic relationships or even something relatively new such as gaming and technology addiction. All of this affects the general well being of the teenager and as a homeschool parent, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your homeschool student does not end up with these problems. Most issues show symptoms much beforehand, but things get worse because the parents ignore the issues hoping that things will correct themselves on their own. This almost never happens and a formal intervention may not always work on a teenager in self destruct mode. However, there are some basics that a parent of a homeschool student can follow to try and ensure that they don’t have a problem.
Communicate Openly and with Respect
Teenagers are almost adults. They deserve to have the truths of the world spoken to them without any sense of patronizing. If you wish to retain open communication lines with your homeschool students, you need to talk with them often. In the way that you would talk with another adult. Add your own experiences as a teenager to your conversation topics. Speak of the mistakes you have made, even as you warn them away from repeating them. You don’t have to be perfect, just honest. It’s the fake patronizing that teenagers tend to react to negatively. Keep things real as you speak with them.
Practice Unconditional Love
As the homeschool teacher you would like to direct the behavior of your homeschool student in a positive, society approved direction. This may not be the direction where the teenage homeschool student wants to head. They may want to explore new avenues that you consider unsafe. They want to conquer the world on their own terms. Unless you can successfully maintain a dictatorship in the home for the next four to five years, it may be time to show your child your support. Let them have no doubt that while you don’t understand their desires to do new things, you are still in their corner and will give them your unconditional love.