Quick Links: Your 17-Year-Old Teen
A normal 17-year-old teen's life is active. They have jobs, could be dating, might be on a sports team or teams or they are active in a drama club, honor society, etc. They have friends and go out to the movies or school events. If they are involved in student government or any type of club, they will be working on fundraising to help pay for things like proms and club t-shirts. Therefore, all teen issues revolve around your teen's active life.
On a side note: What if your 17-year-old teen isn't active? Then it is time to find some things for your teen to do, immediately. This is a year for teens to learn how to stretch their wings, become involved and get experience dealing with the world around them while they are still young enough to make mistakes that you can help them fix. It is an important step for your teen to be successful in their independence. Or when your child reaches 18 and older, they are going to keep looking to you to fix their lives.
Teen Wellness Issue: Diet and Nutrition
A 17-year-old teen is likely to have problems getting their share of good nutrition not because of pickiness or because they like junk food, but because they are never home to eat a nutritional meal. Being a seventeen-year-old is all about being busy. Many things like jobs, school, varsity sports and an active social life fill their hours. Most teens this age do not have much time to be at home, except to sleep. While parents are striving to get kids to the dinner table for all of its benefits, parent of 17-year-olds often feels like it's a lost cause.
If this sounds like your teen, strive to help them find ways to get good nutrition. For instance, if your teen is working at a fast food place like Mc Donald's after school and getting dinner there, remind them that the menu offers salads as well as burgers. Also, step up your push on vitamins for your teen; it will help ensure they are getting what they need on a daily basis. And be aware that you can change your meal times on the weekends to compensate for your teen's work or school sports schedule. Having an early meal or a hot lunch together counts as time together no matter what time it actually is and you can be sure to offer a nutritional fare.
Teen Wellness Issue: Sleep
By the age of 17-years-old, a teen tends to like their sleep when they are able to get it. Between activities, working and homework, getting to bed at a reasonable hour can be difficult. So difficult, in fact, you may need to talk to coaches and/or teachers about things like scheduling the big game the night before a huge test. At some point, something will have to give and it is usually the sleep deprived teen's health. So, keep an eye on your teen's schedule and help them make any changes they need so as to get a healthy amount of rest daily.
Teen Wellness Issue: Exercise
Like the ages before seventeen and all of the ages after, exercise is important to keep a body healthy. Impart this wisdom on your teenager. If your 17-year-old teen does not have a healthy exercise routine, push them to get one. This may be the last time you can set up an 'earning a privilege if you do this behavior' type of discipline. Go for it! It is that important to help your teen learn a good exercise habit that will follow them through their lifetime.
Another thing that comes up a lot for teens who play sports around the age of seventeen are injuries that involve surgery to fix. You'll want to be sure that your sports-playing teen is doing all the stretching and injury preventing exercises that their coach is requesting they do.
Teen Wellness Issue: Stress
Seventeen-year-old teens by all rights should be stressed, but they tend to thrive on everything going on around them. They've handle a busy schedule at age sixteen and often hop from one thing to the next without much worry. Things only tend to become stressful for them when they over schedule and need to figure out how to be in two places at once. When that happens, they are going to need your guidance on how to pick and chose. But remember, you'll need to advise them, not make the decision for your independence-learning teen, so be sure to use your active listening skills.
If your teen is on the second half of being age 17 and is graduating school this year, their will be some more stress building throughout the year dealing with their plans for the future. Keep on top of what needs to be done and advise your teen of deadlines they need to be aware of and you will help them avoid a lot of that stress.
Behaviors, Responsibilities and Discipline
A teen at the age of 17 is just on the verge of being wholly responsible for themselves, at least legally. This makes it imperative for parents to talk to their teen about house rules and how their responsibilities and privileges are going to change - or not going to change - with their adult status. Talking to teens before their 18th birthday will help them not create expectations of doing whatever they want because they are no longer a 'child'.
Parents of 17-year-old teen should be aware of any drug use or drinking their teen may do because this is a real illicit-partying-age. As teens have jobs, they have money to purchase things without you being aware. Continue to talk to your teen about risky behaviors and set rules against drug use and teen drinking in your home.
Continue to expect your teen to take responsibility for chores around the house. Everyone who lives in a home is responsible for maintaining that home and therefore, everyone has chores, even those who have busy schedules.
Quick Links: Your 17-Year-Old Teen