Teenagers smoke, take drugs, have unprotected sex and ride with drunk drivers, not because they think they are invulnerable or haven’t thought about the risks. In fact, they are more likely to ponder the risks, take longer weighing the pros and cons of engaging in high-risk behavior than grown-ups, and actually overestimate the risks. While grown-ups scarcely think about engaging parenting teens many high-risk behaviors because they intuitively grasp the risks, teenagers take the time to mull-over the risks and benefits. Interventions that use risk data regarding smoking or unprotected sex, for example, may actually backfire if teens overestimate their risks anyway.
Instead, interventions should help them develop “general-idea-based” thinking in which dangerous risks are categorically avoided rather than weighed in a rational, deliberative way. Decision-making is the process of choosing what to do by considering the possible consequences of different choices. Reasoning skills are utilized in the decision-making process and refer to specific cognitive abilities, some of which include assessing probability and thinking systematically or abstractly. Many different factors influence how teens make decisions.
These may include cognitive, psychological, social, cultural, and societal factors. Cognitive factors refer to the mental processes of reasoning and perception. These decision-making processes mature with age and experience and are influenced by a teen’s brain development and acquisition of knowledge. The issue of decision-making becomes increasingly important during the teenage years because adolescents are developing greater autonomy and encountering more choices independent of adults.
The choices adolescents make may drastically affect not only their own lives, but the lives of others as well. Programs that incorporate decision-making skills have been found to delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the frequency of sexual activity, and increase safer-sex behaviors. Research has also shown that teens armed with sound decision-making skills are better able to refuse alcohol and other drugs. Moreover, teens who perceive themselves as having better problem-solving skills are less likely to be depressed and have fewer suicidal thoughts. Adolescents also need strong decision-making skills because the U. Furthermore, a successful democracy relies on citizens who can think critically about diverse issues and intelligently decide how society should address these issues. When teenagers are unsure of themselves, they are more likely to give in to peer-pressure.
When a teenager feels good about herself, it improves the odds that she will make good decisions. Moms and dads can build teenagers’ self-confidence by teaching them to think for themselves. Ask your teenager for her opinion, even about small issues. This calls for a set of rules about what she is willing – or not willing – to do.
If her rules apply to a situation, then the decision will be automatic. Moms and dads can show the way to good conduct through example and by promoting values, explaining those values, and showing how they fit specific choices. Starting early ensures that standards have deep roots, but it is never too late to lay out a guide for conduct. For the past two years our lives have been nonstop drama and this past Sunday I made him leave. I had a complete and total melt down and said things to him that I have never ever said to him and which I now deeply regret. I sent him two text messages with heartfelt apologies, but he did not respond. We have been in counseling for months now with a family crisis counselor but she says that my son is master manipulator and she is wasting her time with him because he won’t “do the work” that’s required for us to resolve all his problems.
So right now, he is truant, on probation, not at home but with an adult sibling that lives in the back of his automotive shop in an office cubicle, with the same woman that gave my teen drugs that he overdosed on. You may think you’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone, but you’ve actually been thrust into your son’s teen years. During adolescence, teens start to break away from parents and become “their own person. Some talk back, ignore rules and slack off at school. Others may sneak out or break curfew. Still others experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs.