Parents and teens alike struggle to navigate the trials of adolescence. Teens are trying to figure out who they are, what they like, and how busy they want to be. Parents want their kids to stay out of trouble and stay around positive influences, which could mean participating in extracurricular activities after school.

Busy teenagers with engaging activities can bring about a lot of positive rewards, but there can be consequences when young people overstretch their limits. There are only so many hours in the day, and sacrificing sleep is all too common for young folks in high school.

Teens might get sleepy behind the wheel, or they could make decisions they will regret later. How can you avoid highway hypnosis? Is there a way to balance a good nightโ€™s sleep with all the extracurricular activities that are being done after school? Weโ€™ll list some of these topics and more so parents donโ€™t have to worry about their busy teenagers as much as before.

Compromise With Your Teen Driver

Figuring out the right time for your teenager to drive is stressful for all parties. Many young people want to get behind the wheel at their own discretion. They may want their license so they can experience the freedom of driving.

Choosing to drive without parents isnโ€™t always the best choice for every high school student, though. Even the best young drivers are more likely to make mistakes than a more experienced adult driver.

Easing into driving and sharing this responsibility between parents and teenagers could work for some families. Some days it might be better for kids to drive, and other days they could feel fatigued and tired. This can be solved by parents driving their kids during these moments.

If your child has a lot of activities before and after school, suggest driving them to their practices and their club meetings. Tell them to get some extra shut-eye in the passenger seat while you drive them to where they need to be. This may make them feel dependent on you, but they should also appreciate you looking out for them.

You arenโ€™t necessarily taking away their ability to do the activities they want to do with friends. For example, saying you are forbidding your child from joining the basketball team because you worry about them falling asleep while theyโ€™re driving might not go over well. Telling your child they can still play sports, but youโ€™ll do the driving might get better results.

The Influence of Drugs and Alcohol

Even the most intelligent teenagers can be influenced by others who make poor decisions. Going to parties is something some kids want to do. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol are present in many of these situations. If your teenager is a social butterfly, there is a huge chance they will have to make decisions about using these substances.

Make sure you present all the facts to your teen about the consequences of drinking and driving. Let them know you arenโ€™t trying to take away their freedoms. Teens get defensive when you automatically assume theyโ€™re going to get into trouble. Give teens the liberties they deserve as they get closer to adulthood.

Smart kids will likely understand the fallout of bad decisions if you present them with examples of othersโ€™ actions. Show them statistics for drunk driving and fatalities, and explain how drunk driving can lead to higher car insurance rates. Show teens the risks of not getting into college if they have a DUI in high school.

Teens might get rebellious when they feel their parents are treating them like children. Parents must toe a fine line between laying down the hammer and being a softie. If you have developed an understanding relationship with your child based on communication, then you should reap the rewards during their adolescent years.

Entertaining at Home

Teenagers sometimes try to get away from the activities they enjoyed doing when they were little. This is a sad reality for many parents. Knowing it is just a phase can be reassuring, but it doesnโ€™t do much at the moment. Parents can try to reconnect their children with what they used to enjoy doing.

Talk about family traditions with teenagers. See if they want to engage in some of their favorite things from the past. This could be inviting a childhood friend over for a night at the house. It could also be a family game night around the TV or a board game. Donโ€™t force these things on your teen. Instead, see if you can put a twist on the fun.

Instead of barbecuing for the family, ask your child if they want to do the grilling with you. Have them drive the family to the movies instead of you. These things show you trust your teen to be responsible while also keeping them in your nest for safety and observation.

Parents sometimes hate it when they canโ€™t see what their child is doing. Giving teens freedom while also keeping them under a wing presents the best of both worlds. Everyone should be happy in this scenario.

Teaching Teens About Money

One of the activities many teens want to engage in after school is getting a part-time job. Some parents think this teaches responsibility. It lets their kids know about the value of money, and teens feel mature and independent.

This can lead to a huge risk of burnout when kids are trying to juggle too many activities. Finding the right balance between a part-time job and other responsibilities is the right thing for most teens. There is no time for teens to get proper rest if they are this overworked.

You can still teach your teen about money and responsibility without them working. Get them a credit card and an allowance. Let them know they have a limit on spending money.

Whatever you decide to do, if you let your teen know you are trying to keep them safe and not ruin their life, they should understand. It starts with building trust earlier in their childhood. Donโ€™t waste any time when kids are little. Treat them with respect at a young age, and it should pay off in adolescence.


Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help parents and teens with advice for building strong relationships.