- Get plenty of rest; you still require at least eight hours of sleep at night.
- Exercise three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Review personal hygiene habits.
- Do athletic conditioning and weight training under proper supervision.
- Limit your television viewing and recreational computer time.
- Eat a good breakfast which is important for alertness and energy at school.
- Eat three healthy meals a day and nutritious snacks.
- Whether eating at home or out, eat as a family as often as possible.
- Limit high fat, high sugar foods and choose appropriate alternatives.
- Eat a variety of grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
- Eat lean meats rich in iron and low-fat milk products or other foods rich in calcium.
- Manage your weight through appropriate eating habits and regular exercise.
- If you follow a vegetarian meal plan, make sure it is balanced with adequate nutrients and calories.
- Consider vitamin supplementation especially for Vitamin D.
- Supplement with fluoride, if there is none in your water.
- Use seatbelts and follow speed limits and traffic laws.
- Don't accept a ride in a car if the driver has been drinking.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Don't ride unrestrained in the back of a pickup truck.
- Use helmets, mouth guards and protective sports gear.
- Listen to your body during sports; don't overuse muscles or play while fatigued.
- Maintain a smoke-free environment.
- Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Use sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and avoid tanning booths.
- If you get a part-time job, learn rules for job safety and emergencies.
- Don't use tobacco, drugs, alcohol or carry a weapon.
- Review swimming skills.
- Learn to protect yourself from abuse.
- Learn to deal with anger and resolve conflicts.
- Learn CPR.
- Regularly spend time with your family doing something you all enjoy.
- Talk to your parents-share with them how your day and your life is going.
- Your parents will listen if you listen to them.
- Participate in social activities, community groups and team sports.
- Respect limits and consequences your parents have set for unacceptable behavior.
- Be responsible for school attendance, homework completion and course selection.
- Discuss with parents or valued friends frustration with school.
- Participate in school activities.
- Identify talents, interests or skills for future career direction.
- Take on new challenges to build confidence.
- Clarify your values.
- Recognize your strengths.
- Listen to good friends and valued adults.
- Talk with someone you trust (a parent, friend, clergy or your doctor) when you are nervous, sad or feel things are not going right.
- Ask questions you have about sex, birth control and sexually- transmitted diseases.
- Sexual feelings are normal.
- Having sex should not be confused with having sexual feelings.
- Talk to your parents or doctor about sex.
- Learn how to say "no" to sex.
- Abstinence is the safest way to prevent pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
Substance abuse education
- Do not smoke, chew tobacco, use diet pills or steroids.
- Do not use alcohol or drugs.
- Do not sell drugs.
- Avoid situations where drugs and alcohol are present.
- Support friends who choose not to use drugs.
- Respect the rights and needs of others.
- Serve as an ethical role model.
- Follow family rules.
- Share in household responsibilities.
- Learn new skills such as CPR and peer counseling.
- Be a volunteer; help someone less fortunate or in need.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day and use fluoride toothpaste.
- See the dentist regularly, every 6 months.
There are some wonderful books put out by the Rosen Publishing Group each dealing with a specific problem encountered by teens. The following is only a very short sampling:
- Kane, June Kozak. Coping with Diet Fads. 1990.
- Simpson, Caroly. Coping with Asthma. 1995