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Teens and Bad Influences – What Your Child Might Be Getting Exposed to

With the internet, smartphones, untraceable google phone numbers and private accounts you might not know about, it’s easier than ever for your child to sneak off and experience things that might be best for them. It’s impossible to keep up with all of their friends, especially the ones they make online, and it’s hard to know if they are talking to people who are bringing them up, or dragging them down.

Don’t worry: you can stay in the know with this guide. Read on to learn about each danger your child could be exposed to behind your back, and how to check in on their behavior.

Drug and Nicotine Exposure

A new trend that has come about in the last few years is “vaping”. So much so, that Oxford Dictionary dubbed the word of the year “vape” in 2014. Electronic cigarettes are seemingly innocuous, and they’re meant to be a “healthier” alternative to cigarettes. Teens may get vape pens from older friends, and the cartridges may be tainted, leading to the possibility that your child might unknowingly be smoking other drugs.
Harmful drugs can be smoked out of an electronic cigarette. Drugs such as liquid THC, bath salts, or psychedelics are popular among teens.

With a vape pen, drugs can get into the bloodstream much faster. This makes vaping more dangerous. Because it is also easier to avoid detection with vaping, teens can go without the help they need for longer if they’re truly addicted.

If you suspect your child is combining any of these drugs in their e-cigarette, then it’s time to seek treatment.

Falling into the Wrong Crowd

Peer influence is incredibly impactful, especially during your child’s formative years. This is because their values and morals are still forming and are easily influenced by others. Friends may say or do things that may have an impact on your child for years to come.

However, and this might sound counterintuitive: you can’t isolate your child from a bad crowd if you want them to be resilient. Much like an illness that strengthens the immune system, you can monitor the exposure and cure a bad bug, but you can’t strengthen the system without some sort of exposure. So telling them who they can and can’t hang out with might come with resistance, and you’ll have to accept that you might not be able to control their social circle.

That being said, your teen needs strong, positive role models to guide them towards making choices that are best for them. This way, they’ll make their own realizations and not perceive your care for their wellbeing as punishment.

Being Aware of What’s Out There

Being educated on what your child might be getting into is important. While ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power. Keeping up with latest internet trends (some can actually be quite dangerous), trending websites, apps, or latest videos can give you a small view into what your child could be exposed to.

Have an open dialogue with your teen in a way that doesn’t sound accusatory. The more comfortable they feel with you, the more they will share and come to you if they need help.

Online Dangers

The internet is a vast abyss filled with amazing, but also terrifying, potential. Bad people can use the internet to bait young people to meet them for insidious purposes. Kids can also be subjected to cyberbullying.

During their formative years, words said to your child are very important. Even someone they don’t know can work their way into your child’s mind and make them believe things that aren’t true, which can have a huge negative impact on self-confidence and mental resilience.

Bottom Line

Keeping your child out of harm’s way is a full-time task that can often seem like an impossible one. While it’s true that you can’t (and shouldn’t) shelter your child away from the world, it is possible to limit their exposure to questionable things and people. Keep abreast of “internet culture” by seeing what apps, websites, and videos are on the rise. Talk to your child openly and often about what they are doing with their friends. Even if they’re unhappy with you about it, pointing out their tendency towards bad influences might enlighten them.

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