If you have one, you know how unpredictable they can be. Yes, I’m talking about the average teenager. Just when you think they’ve grown up, they do something that totally questions everything you were previously thinking. As a parent, your teens may not be as reliable as you’d like them to be. Teenagers are all over the map in terms of their maturity, and in most cases home security is not even on their radar. They don’t think about home security because they have never been faced with potential threats. It’s the amount of experiences that a teen has compared to the average adult. They haven’t yet learned to see the world through our eyes. And this can sometimes lead to poor decision-making. However, there are a number of suggestions that we have listed in order to help you get through to them in a way that sticks! Today we are going to list some of these solutions that will hopefully be an agent of change in your life when attempting to educate your teen on the importance of home security.

Here are 3 simple lessons to have with your teen. Before you dive into the steps, approach your teen in a mature manner. Teenagers often want to be treated like adults, so emphasize that you’re giving them a big responsibility. Think about the different ways you can spike their interest, such as using smart phones and encouraging independence.

1. Teach Awareness

Emphasizing awareness will teach your teenager that they need to be alert for the whole house and the family. You can help them become more aware by asking them to consider the following questions:

  • Are the doors locked? Be sure to emphasize the safety of this before and after leaving for school.
  • Is the security system armed and do they understand how it works? Take the time to explain it with the help of the next lesson.
  • When should mom or dad be home from work?
  • Where should certain family members be at different times of the day or evening?
  • Are there any strange vehicles or people lurking around the area?
  • What if a stager knocks on the door when no one else is home? Remind them never to open the door for anyone, not even for someone they recognize. 
  • What should they do/who should they contact in the event of an emergency? Have a plan and act it out in a pretend scenario.

Asking these simple questions will help your teenager be mindful of other members in the family. Acknowledge your teen’s attention to these details as you work on their understanding of home security. Remember to teach your teen about being aware of other potential dangerous actions such as over-sharing. Never share your 4-digit code to disarm your home security system, not even with a close friend. Also emphasize the importance of keeping social media sharing to a minimum. With technology integrating itself into a younger and younger crowd, it is easy to see social platforms such as Instagram or Facebook as harmless. Remember to tell them never to share the fact they they may be home alone. The same things goes for phone calls. If a stranger calls when they are home alone and asks to speak to an adult, tell your teen to say you are unavailable or in the shower, even if you’re not.

2. Watch the News

While it is probably true that your teen rarely watches the news, try to have them sit down with you to watch the news as an exercise. Chances are, they won’t be thrilled about the idea of it. However, it is important that they at least understand the amount of crimes that take place on a daily basis.

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Discuss the recent news with your teenager. We live in a world where horrors happen to innocent people every single day, many times a day, any time or place. Remember, you don’t want to scare your teen. Just remind them that these things can happen to anybody. And in order to prevent bad things from happening, there are certain measures you must take in order to stay safe. Be factual and discuss how they might handle specific scenarios, like in the news. Having your teen think about these complex scenarios might help them immensely if they were faced with something similar in real life.

3. Take Advantage of Teen-Friendly Devices:

While post-it notes and verbal reminders might not be enough of a reminder for your teenager, consider using a smart phone app as a platform for your teen to adopt. Today, it is possible to integrate your security systems seamlessly into devices that most teens have with them all of the time, such as smart phones.

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Teenagers should know how to use the home security and access control systems. If they have smartphones, teach them how to do this using Protect America’s SMART connect app. We make it easier for you to arm and disarm your home security system, lock your doors, control your lights, contact us for customer support and more with our smart phone app. Just download it for free in your app store and sit down with your teenager to make sure they understand how it works. Once they see how easy it is, they might even be able to teach you a thing or two!