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Teenagers, Let’s Talk About Things That Matter Most

Choose the right friends Pick your friends wisely. It is said that you go as the friends you keep. Avoid people who give you bad advice and make you do what you don’t want to do or what is not right. This is negative peer pressure. Learn to say ‘No’ and mean it. Make friends with those who share your values. Make friends with good and responsible people. Associate with those who make positive influence on you. A person who stops being your friend was never a good friend.   Peer pressure Peer pressure or influence is when you do something because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends. Negative peer pressure is when someone who is a friend or part of a group you belong to makes you feel that you have to do something to be accepted, to engage in a behavior or activity you may be resistant to or has serious consequences. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’. Walk away from situations and people that will make you compromise your values. You are a disciplined person, shun negative impact. Negative peer pressure includes pressure to drink alcohol, use cigarettes or drugs, say ‘No thanks’ or ‘not for me’. Some teenagers give in to negative influences peer pressure because they want to be liked. Teenagers who know what they want and are not afraid to stand their ground attract the respect and admiration of others. Social media and online safety Adopt appropriate digital behavior it will help you navigate the virtual realm responsibly. Avoid online predators, cyber bullying. Learn to maintain online safety and communicate with your parents or a trusted adult if you ever experience cyber crime. Make wise use of the internet and avoid inappropriate content. Avoid inappropriate use of the social media and music with bad lyrics. Life values Make good choices. Stand for what you believe. Integrity is about making good choices. It is about being honest with you and honest with others. Honesty helps in developing good attributes like kindness, discipline and good morals. Hard work pays. A lot of hard work is hidden behind nice things. Be the person who influences others positively. Develop personal integrity and honesty. Surround yourself with good people. Do not be afraid to be different. Formulate your own opinion on things and communicate clearly and honestly. Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe in. if it is wrong, because others are doing it does not make it right. Be a good example. Take responsibility for your actions. Make responsible choices. Financial responsibility is indispensable for your future financial well-being. Learn to manage your pocket money, adopt budgeting, saving and avoid debt. Drugs, smoking and alcohol Take care of your body. Engage in body care, get enough sleep. Eat healthy, make better food choices. Stay away from and avoid the risks associated with substance abuse, smoking and alcohol consumption. Avoid people who use them and pressure others to do same protect your health and mind. Let go of negative self talk. Think positively. Love yourself. Appreciate who you are. Don’t worry about how others view you.  If someone does not appreciate how amazing you are, it is not your fault. Participate in those things that promote your health, safety and well-being. Sex and relationships Say ‘No’ to sex. Abstinence is a great choice. Don’t be awkward about saying ‘No’ to sex (or kissing, touching or any other sexual activity). Set boundaries. There are some things that should wait. Sex is one of them. Other people can try to pressure us into what we don’t want to, stick to your values and morals and stay focused on your school, academic aspirations and career goals. Some teens have sex because their friends pressure them into it. 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. No sex before marriage is a wise decision. Listen to your gut. Be brave enough to be you. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’. Learn to confide in your parents. When struggling with something, learn to speak early, clearly and honestly about the way you feel to a trusted adult, school counsellor or teacher or you may need to report someone to your teacher. Communicate with your parents or another healthy adult.   Mental health and well-being Be yourself. Be the best of who you are. Embrace your uniqueness. Strive to do things well. Discover what you are good at and do more of it to improve your life and lead a more positive and happier life. Focus on becoming the best that you can be. Be happy. Surround yourself with good people. Manage your stress. Think positive.  Change the message you give to yourself. Stay positive and be happy. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remind yourself that your body is unique and beautiful in its own way. Get regular exercise. Partake in physical activities that are good for you and help you feel better.   Get to know God. Love God. Learn to pray to God. Commit your future to God. Trust your future to God.

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