Wellness Issues You Should Address With Your 17-Year-Old

Goals to Strive For and Behaviors Parents Can Expect

Teach your teen how to be healthy.
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Most 17-year-olds have busy schedules. Between work, sports, extracurricular activities, dating, homework, chores, and time with friends, there likely isn't room for much else.

Of course, not all teens are thriving at this age. Some are bored, scared about the future, and lonely. It can be a tumultuous time too. 

It's prime time for parents to make sure a teen is establishing healthy habits that will set her up for success in adulthood.

Here are the most important wellness issues you should be addressing with your 17-year-old:

Diet and Nutrition

While some 17-year-olds want to skip meals because they're worried about their weight, others are grabbing fast food any chance they can get. 

Eat family meals together whenever you can. Talk about the importance of fueling your body in a healthy way. 

Stock the house with healthy snacks and talk to your teen about the dangers of consuming too much caffeine and too much sugar. 

While you can't control your 17-year-old's food choices, you can continue to be a good role model. Keep the emphasis on health, not on weight to avoid body image issues

Sleep

While some 17-year-olds are getting as much sleep as they can possibly get, others are bragging about the late hours they're putting in. 

Sleep-deprivation can be a serious problem—especially for teens who are driving. Make sure your teen is aware that without enough sleep, she is more likely to get into an accident and she'll be less likely to excel in school.

Encourage your teen to get a good night's sleep, even she is pressed for time. Discourage her from using her smartphone or other digital devices right before sleep or during the night. 

Exercise

Teens who love sports are likely to get plenty of exercise. But once they stop playing on organized teams, it may be harder for them to get enough exercise.

Encourage your teen to do things that he'll likely keep doing, long after his high school football career comes to an end. Hiking, canoeing, walking, or going to a gym might be things he'll keep doing well into adulthood.

Stress

The stress of finishing high school and entering the adult world can take a toll on teens. Help your teen learn to recognize when he's getting stressed out.

Stressed out teens may be tempted to turn to unhealthy coping strategies, like overeating or drinking.

Teach him healthy stress management techniques. Practice relaxation techniques to help him ward off health issues and mental health problems that can stem from stress. 

Behavior

It's important to ensure your 17-year-old accepts full responsible for his behavior. Teach him self-discipline so he can manage his time and his money in a responsible manner. 

Continue giving your 17-year-old chores. Make his privileges dependent upon his ability to get his work done on time. 

Give your teen consequences when he breaks the rules or violates curfew. Teach him the importance of following the rules as he approaches adulthood.

Provide plenty of opportunities for your teen to practice being responsible. Let him do his own laundry, prepare his own meals, and get to work on time without any reminders.

Those are all things he'll need to be able to do soon when he's living on his own. 

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