It’s a boy. A boy. And yet another boy.
The ultrasound confirmed that I was officially a Mom of triplet sons which meant I was going to have my work cut out for me. It wasn’t the dirt and grime or nonstop action of raising young boys that scared me. The thought of having three sons who would grow into teenagers with a natural ‘need for speed’ is what intimidated me.
Our trio is in high school and the book Born to Be Wild interested me to review because I want to know if we can really help our teenagers navigate risky choices more successfully.
Can parents make a difference when it comes to minimizing risk in their child’s life?
According to Born to Be Wild Author, Dr. Jess. P. Shatkin, we can absolutely make a difference by being proactive in our parenting.
Shatkin is a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine and also a Dad of two teenagers. His book tells us why teens take risks, and how we can help keep them safer.
How can we positively influence our teenager to make the best choices?
When our kids are young, we need to make many choices for them. As they age toward the teenage years, we need to curate their choices. Adolescence is an enormous developmental opportunity. During these years, we must allow our kids to practice all of the many things that they will one day need to do independently as adults, but we as parents must also continue providing close supervision.
How do we help our kids make healthy decisions when it comes to risky behaviors?
Dr. Shatkin recommends we take Wayne Gretzky’s advice and skate to where the puck will be. See the reality of the road ahead and be proactive in designing strategies to reduce upcoming risk factors in your child’s life.
We’re only kidding ourselves if we choose to believe that our adolescents won’t face risky situations each day. Instead of waiting for those risks to happen, we can anticipate the dangers and be ready for them.
Texting while driving, binge drinking, bullying, unprotected sex, vaping and many other risk factors are real concerns and keep us worried about our growing adolescents today. Being able to protect teens from dangers on the internet should also be a top priority for parents.