Behavior and Daily Routines: Your 16-Year-Old Teen

Goals to Strive For and Behaviors Parents Can Expect

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Your 16-year-old teen has got the lay of the land and is mapping their own course much more easily than in the previous year. But they will still stray off the path as they hit some new responsibilities in their sixteenth year, like driving and working at a 'real' job.

Teen Wellness Issue: Diet and Nutrition

The 16-year-old teen is dealing with body image issues. As teenage girls tend to have a set figure or shape and boys tend to have very awkward bodies at this age, body image is foremost in many of a sixteen-year-old mind.

In both cases, you will find that your teen does not like how they look and are critical of every aspect of their growing bodies. This can translate into eating issues and may turn to the big bad four letter word: D-I-E-T. Teens today are very aware of dieting techniques; they see fad diets all over the media every day! 'Get thinner' or 'build muscles' by taking this pill or starving yourself like the pro-ana sites promote are the messages your venerable teens are getting.

Parents need to stay aware of the issues your 16-year-old teen is facing. Continue to talk to them about how they feel about their bodies. Do not allow your 16-year-old to use a fad diet. If they want to lose weight, make them an appointment for their doctor to talk to them about the best way for them to lose weight. Teach them good dietĀ habits of minimizing junk food and maximizing fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to what your teen is eating.

If you don't feel they are eating right and you are worried about them, talk to them about their body image and eating habits. If you don't think you got through to your teen, make an appointment with their doctor and share your concerns.

Teen Wellness Issue: Sleep

Who needs sleep? Not the 16-year-old teen!

As far as they are concerned, sleep is overrated. They need the time to talk to friends on the phone and be more social on the internet. If they went to sleep, they might actually miss something.

Sixteen-year-old teens need to be advised strongly to stick to a healthy sleep routine or they can easily become sleep deprived as they do not feel the need to go to bed - ever. If you find you are repeatedly asking your teen to turn their lights out and get some shut-eye, seriously consider a parenting contract for a healthy sleeping schedule. Remind your teen that independence means they need to be able to take care of themselves independently, not just have the privileged to stay awake when they want.

Teen Wellness Issue: Exercise

Your 16-year-old teen will continue their exercise routine. Whether they are active or not, they will continue to do what they have always done as this is a year that extends from the previous year. If you haven't gotten your teen to take a good look at fitness yet, now is the time.

Fitness is exercise that people do in order to stay healthy. We chose fitness activities that we like to do and your teen will find lots of choices of different things they can do, if your fitness expectations are that your teen need to do something.

Teen Wellness Issue: Stress

Except for the everyday dating, peers and school work type stress, your teen is on a pretty even keel. They are used to their routines and being in a whirlwind of change has become their normal.

This doesn't mean that your teen will be free from emotional outbursts or the stress that comes with dealing with new situations and having teen friends. This is especially true for teens who are in competition with each other - whether the competition is in sports, academics or socially. Teach your teen the coping skills they will need to use when dealing with other people now and they will be able to handle this type of stress for the rest of their lives.

Behaviors, Responsibilities and Discipline

Your sixteen-year-old teenager is old enough to begin working a part-time or summer time job for others in restaurants and fast food places, so they may not want to babysit as much or they may not be as available for family functions.

They are also looking forward to getting their driver's license. With this freedom come a lot of responsibility that parents may not foresee. Here are some resources that will help:

Some 16-year-old tens will want to be treated as if they are going off to college within a year, as they see other teens in their classes who are and are getting more freedom. What your 16-year-old is not seeing is the responsibility an 18-year-old is facing. Be wary of extending your 16-year-old teen's curfew too often and know where they are, who they are with and what they are doing as much as possible. This will keep the risks your teen takes down to a low ebb.

It is important for parents to give some of the responsibility of creating rules, consequences and privileges to their teen. Learning how to discipline oneself is an important skill your teen will need that can only be taught through experience.

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