The Delicate Balancing Act Between Teen Independence and Teen Safety

Vatsala is a 15-year-old from Amritsar, India. She enjoys listening to music, reading books, writing, doodling and her favorite subjects are English and Math because she wants to be an Actuary.



Every parent from every corner of the world wants nothing more than their children, especially their rebellious teenagers, to be safe. But this can never be achieved until they give them the independence they deserve and very importantly NEED! For every parent their teens will always be little princesses and little ninjas and it will be just after a blink of an eye when they notice that the play-dohs have changed into lip-glosses and the fake swords into Blackberrys and iPhones. Their teens suddenly start becoming more self-reliant and independent, which can be overwhelming for many parents.


My brother was sent to a boarding school when he was ten years old. In a boarding school it is known that a child becomes independent and learns to live alone. There were all kinds of bad influences of drugs and alcohol, and even some good ones. But who are we kidding? We all know that bad influences reach teens before the good ones. Fortunately, however, after studying for six years in the boarding school, my brother never came under the bad influences, and I think only our parents are responsible for that.


My brother and I were given independence when we were young, but it was limited. As far as being a teen is concerned we have a friendly relationship with our parents, but we were scared to do anything that might let them down. But compared to some other parents who restrict their children so much in trying to keep them safe makes our parents seem rebellious.


I believe that to make teens self-reliant as well as to keep them safe, parents should keep talking about safety and keep their teens aware about the dangers out in the world. Teens must learn what is the appropriate behavior that is expected by him or her. Teens might not spend much time with parents these days, but there is no harm with parents knowing what their children are up to. Parents must pay attention to what teenagers are saying. Parents must be aware of their teens’ friends. When being asked for permission, the details of the friends must be kept in mind and the verdict should be given. Do you have a teen who recently learned how to drive? Don’t let him sit on the driving seat alone yet, this is the time and the situation when teens can get out of hand. Even if you do let them drive, put some time limits for when they should be back.
These might be some general ways of how you can balance a teen’s independence and safety. The rest depends on what kind of a relationship you have with your teen and how your teen is. If your teen is an introvert, then it might not be that big of a problem. But if they are really outgoing, then the above tips may come in handy.

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