High Risk Behavior and Teens

Do you have a novelty seeking, high risk teen? Then it’s important for you to encourage safe ways for your teen to test her limits.

Is your teen an adventure seeker? High-risk teens are those who push the limits in everything they do. As great as it is that they’ll never back off from a new experience, there is a down side to this temperament. Novelty seeking teens can get involved in unhealthy behaviors such as drug or sexual experimentation explains psychiatrist Dr. Marshall Korenblum. He says that the novelty-seeking or high-risk teen is “the kid who gets bored, needs to have a lot of action, a lot of movement, a lot of quick changes.”

Dr. Korenblum adds that the novelty seeking, high-risk teen needs and benefits from activities like rock climbing, biking, skateboarding, and team sports. “They get healthy stimulation out of it, perhaps better co-ordination of their bodies and they’re learning, even in sports where there’s a lot of action, how to delay gratification. There are penalties in sports, so there are consequences for your actions. They’re learning how to get along with others in society. What it’s preventing is, hopefully, the unhealthy outlets for those kind of behaviors which is risky drug taking or sexual behaviors.”

High risk adventure sports like mountain biking, rock climbing, skateboarding, and kayaking answer the need to push the limits, while providing a sense of accomplishment and independence. Still they have inherent risks, and therefore it’s imperative that any teen embarking on a high risk adventure be well trained by a qualified instructor.

Experts suggest that parents are wise to sign their teen up for an instructional course before cutting him loose rock climbing or white water rafting. Getting good solid instruction by a reputable instructor that’s qualified to do the activity and who teaches courses for teens and not just adults is a must.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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