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There are a lot of ‘milestones’ that are reached during our teen years that, while thought to be typical, can be quite damaging. While our teens crave more freedom and independence, and in a lot of ways are steadily wishing for adulthood- it’s our job to make sure they can have a real childhood.

Most of the time, teenagers believe they are much more grown than they are. In their minds, they should be allowed to make their own choices, and we should allow them the room to take more chances. Of course, it’s okay to allow your teen more freedom as they get older. But, be careful not to allow them to take on too much too early. Below, I will list 10 things that teenagers do, but shouldn’t.

1. Drinking alcohol.

Watch any teen movie, and it becomes abundantly clear that our society normalizes teen drinking. However, lest we forget that alcohol is a drug. While your teen may just pick it up during social settings, it is far too easy for drinking to turn into an addiction, or lead to your child getting in an accident or doing dangerous things they should not be doing.

2. Experimenting with drugs.

Not all teens will experiment with drugs, but the vast majority of them will try at least one substance before they finish high school. Nowadays, it has become prevalent for teens to misuse prescriptions like Adderall or cough medicine. In most cases, they will simply try marijuana, but remember, their brains are developing still. And any chemical that changes their state of mind is going to be dangerous to their overall development.

3. Live off junk food.

We all laugh it off when teenagers live off of pizza rolls, burgers, and fries, but these foods should not be the center of anyone’s diet. Yes, it’s okay to enjoy some junk, but there is a need for balance. Your child needs nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, that are only available in certain healthy foods.

4. Send inappropriate texts.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy say that 20% of teens are sending nude photos of themselves, and 39% are sending sexual messages. Society teaches our young girls that it’s a form of flattery to be asked for a nude photo-however, it’s important to teach your daughter that a boy who respects them would never ask for that.

5. Overdoing caffeine.

Energy drinks come in fun flavors, and attention-grabbing colors and are marketed as ‘gaming fuel’ or even ‘studying fuel’ however, these drinks are loaded with massive amounts of caffeine. Some include twice the amount that is healthy, in addition to a load of other unhealthy chemicals that could lead to death. At the very least, drinking a ton of caffeine could cause damage to their heart, or prevent them from getting the right amount of sleep. If combined with alcohol- a whole other host of problems can arise.

6. Having a hidden social media.

Social media has become a normal part of our society and is used by teens to connect. However, when your teen begins making secret accounts and refusing to accept your friend request, it’s time to draw a line. Remember, while you want to give them more freedom, they have to earn that right, and making secret accounts and refusing to keep you in the know should be a no-go.

7. Having sex.

Most teenagers, no matter how informed they may be about condom usage and birth control, will not use those things properly or even at all. Sex comes with obvious risks, like pregnancy, and STDS, some of which are irreversible. Let it be known that even birth control cannot 100% guarantee the prevention of conception. And what happens from there will be life-changing. Not to mention the risk of AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, and various other forms of sexually transmitted infections.

8. Texting while driving.

Texting while driving is just as dangerous as drinking while driving. Both of these can result in a deadly car crash that could harm or kill your child, or the person they hit. In some cases, this could result in a hefty criminal record that will haunt your child for life, or they could be permanently disabled. Please remind them to stow their phone away until they are safely parked.

9. Using a tanning bed.

I’ve never understood why parents allow their teens to use tanning beds. Even when I was a teen, I could not understand it- because it comes with many risks. The worst case scenario is skin cancer, and if they are spared from that outcome, they are going to have skin damage that they will regret later on.

10. Vaping.

It used to be common knowledge that smoking and nicotine use is deadly. But, since the tobacco companies found a way to wrap the drug nicotine (and it is very much a drug) in a pretty package with candy and dessert flavors-many people have forgotten just how dangerous it is. While vaping may be marketed as safer-it is not. Especially for a teenager. In most cases, vaping will lead to smoking.