The teenage years are a state of flux – it’s a stage of discovery and development. Understandably, teenagers can get confused with so many things happening inside their bodies as well as outside that can affect their view and perception of the world they live in.

As a parent, you are always on the lookout for ways to understand your child to the best of your knowledge. With your guidance, they can get through these years while still on the right path to adulthood.

Where’s the Confusion among Teens Coming?

Your child is a product of socialization from home, school, friendship, media (particularly social media), and the environment. You and these factors influence and define your young adult’s choices in food, fashion, or behavior.

Indeed, what you say and do can go against what your teenager’s friends – or the internet, for that matter – dictate. This confusion and distraction may result in bad choices, like substance abuse, to cope with conflicts and inconsistencies. Against this backdrop, how do you steer your adolescent to the right path?

Be a Parent

Each parent has a style in raising their kids. In dealing with your teenager, determine where you stand between being authoritarian, permissive and authoritative, as a pamphlet from the US Department of Education reads. Use your moral ascendancy over your kid to explain why their action is wrong.

Be a Friend

This idea can earn an eye roll from your child, but it’s the closest you can get to gain their confidence and trust. Talk to him or her at a level where they won’t feel iffy sharing problems at home or school, no matter how trivial. Listen to your kids.

Be a Role Model

Children learn by example. They can pick on habits and values based on the actions you have shown through the years. Aside from words, you may have to be more consistent in showing acts of kindness, respect, goodness, and charity at home.

Be That Preschool Teacher

Your child probably has a favorite teacher in preschool who lets them do fun things and stamps their hands with stars for a job well done. You can be that teacher who gives them free rein on what they do and rewards their good behavior. Of course, when they do something wrong, skip the baby talk and deal with your child like you would an adult.

Be on the Lookout

It’s a fact of life: your child spends more time outside, hanging out in places you haven’t heard of or seeing people you haven’t met. They may also be influenced to take drugs like ecstasy, which is popular among celebrities and partygoers. Let your parental instinct kick in and pick up on any unusual behavior (e.g., high energy levels and heightened sensitivity to lights) that may be telltale signs of MDMA abuse.

For your peace of mind and your teenager’s welfare, talk with your child. If he or she denies, ask him or her to use a MDMA test kit at home and get the result in no time. You may have to consult a health professional in dealing with drug abuse suspicions before any testing procedure occurs. Keeping a healthy and open relationship with your child remains a top priority so you can guide him or her properly.