Teens, Let’s Talk about Stuff that Matters

Choose your friends wisely

It is said that you go as the friends you keep. Choose your friends wisely. Choose the right friends. Avoid those who give you bad advice, make you do what you do not want to do or what is not right. This is peer pressure. Avoid negative influences. Learn to say ‘No’ and mean it.

Make friends with those who share your values. Associate with good and responsible people. Associate with those who make positive influence on you. A person who stops being your friend was never a friend.

Some teenagers give in to negative peer pressure because they want to be liked, they do not want to be made fun of or due to curiosity. Walk away from situations and people that will make you compromise your standards and convictions.

Teenagers who know what they want and are not afraid to say ‘no’ to negative peer pressure attract the respect and admiration of others.

Respect others

Respect yourself and others. Have empathy for others. Nobody has the right to hurt anyone. Everyone needs to be respected. Build self  respect and respect for others. Don’t touch another person inappropriately. Develop self discipline. Become a disciplined person.

Don’t exert control and power over others. Do not be a bully. Don’t bully others. People who do this lack good self-esteem and do this to seek attention.

Avoid those who coerce, tease, intimidate or threaten others. They are bullies. Ignore them. They act to gain attention. They usually end up in trouble. A bully is the one with a problem not you. The good news is that they can change their behaviour. They can learn to respect others and build good relationships. Well-behaved teenagers earn the respect of their peers.

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Take responsibility

Take responsibility for your well-being. Take responsibility for your health. Take responsibility for your life. Be health and safety conscious. Protect yourself from substances that can harm your body and mind. Stay away from drugs, alcohol and cigarette. Avoid people who use them and pressure others to do the same. Participate in those things that promote your health, safety and well-being.

Some young people get introduced to drugs, alcohol and smoking by their friends. They experiment with these substances because they want to be accepted but become addicted.

Some in search of relief when going through emotional pain try these illicit substances and instead of finding relief become addicted. They rely on smoking or drinking to make their hurt go away temporarily but these are wrong options.

It is normal for a young person to be bored, depressed or experience emotional problems sometimes due to difficulties at school, in the family or neighborhood. We all pass through difficult times sometimes. The good news is that it will go away. Stay positive. Read, participate in team sports, exercise, art or writing and other gainful activities.

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Establish sexual values

People who behave according to their values feel good about themselves. Values influence decisions of an individual. There are some things that should wait. Sex is one of them. There are benefits in delaying sex until marriage.

Some teens have sex because their friends pressure them. A friend who coerces you to have sex is not a good friend. Do not allow anyone lure, blackmail or intimidate you into having sex or doing what you do not want to do. No sex before marriage is a wise decision.

Premarital Sex has negative effects such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unwanted pregnancy, teenage parenthood and dropping out of school. Abstinence is the right  choice. It demonstrates a good self-esteem. It prevents getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant. This way you don’t miss out on your youthful years.

Do not get involved in a relationship it can be a major distraction. Dress decently and responsibly, avoid kissing and do not allow wrong touching.  Develop good friendships based on respect and consideration for the other person. Be focused. Avoid study distractions. Set good and achievable goals for yourself.

Be a positive role model

Be a positive role model for others. Take responsibility for your actions. Set a good example. Be a person of honesty, integrity and self discipline. Be good at all you do. Value smart work and hard work. Fear God and be prayerful. Learn from failure and celebrate success. Take responsibility for your spending. Practice self control.

Avoid inappropriate content from the social media or music. Make responsible choices. Read, participate in sports playing or as a fan.

Do what is right! If it is bad because others are doing it does not make it right. Do not be afraid to be different.

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Be happy

Stay positive. Use positive self talk. Don’t expect too much. Don’t expect too much attention, too much love or help from others. Stay away from relationships. Don’t make too many friends. Hang out with real friends, not the ones that put you down. Set good goals. Exercise, help others.

Don’t stay out late. When it is getting dark, return home. We need to keep safe these days. Get enough sleep. Confide in your parents.When going through anxiety, worried, confused or have concerns, talk to your parents or other trusted and responsible adult, your school counsellor or you may need to report someone to your teacher.

Be yourself. Be happy with yourself. Love yourself. Stay happy.

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Get to know God

Get to know God for yourself. Develop a personal relationship with God. Build a close relationship with Him. Take all problems to Him in prayer.