Forming healthy eating habits
- Make meals a time to connect.
- Offer fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks.
- Limit fast food. Help your teen make healthier food choices when you eat out.
- Offer water instead of drinks high in sugar or caffeine.
- Put away electronic devices.
Practicing healthy habits
- Encourage your teen to be active for at least 1 hour each day. Ride bikes or walk together, if you can.
- Limit screen time.
- Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around your teen.
- Help your teen to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
Keeping your teen safe
- Wear your seat belt to show your teen that it's important.
- Teach that drinking alcohol and doing drugs can be harmful. Tell your teen to call for a ride if the person driving was drinking or doing drugs.
- Make sure your teen wears a helmet that fits well when riding a bike or scooter.
- If you have guns, lock them up unloaded. Lock ammunition away from guns.
- Remind your teen to be careful online. Talk about what's safe and not safe to share online.
Parenting your teen
- Try to accept the natural changes in your teen and your relationship with your teen.
- Respect your teen's privacy. Be clear about any safety concerns you have.
- Set realistic rules with clear consequences. But be reasonable as your teen tries to do things without you.
- Tell your teen why you think school is important. Show interest in your teen's school.
Talking about sex
- Start talking about sex early. This will make it less awkward each time.
- Discuss your values and beliefs. Your teen can use your values to develop their own set of beliefs.
- Talk about condom use and birth control before your teen is sexually active. Talk about unwanted pregnancy.
- Talk to your teen about common STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
Make sure your teen gets all the recommended vaccines.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter L514 in the search box to learn more about "Well Visit, 12 Years to Young Teen: Care Instructions".
Current as of: August 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine