Tips for Keeping Tension Low with Neighborhood Teens


Do you live in a neighborhood with teens? If so, lucky you! However, maybe not so much if the tension between adults and teens is high.

Teenagers are a very active bunch. They have much more time than adults do to go out and explore their world, which includes your neighborhood. Teens get bored easily and might just want something to do. They also want to see what they can get away with before they are inevitably caught (at least nine times out of ten).

Yet as an adult, it’s our responsibility to try to maintain an understanding — or at least a cordial — relationship with these kids. The following are some simple tips to help you keep tensions low with your neighborhood teens.

First, what constitutes anti-social behavior?

Being anti-social would be an attempt to harm others, damage property, or act in an inappropriate way. For example, causing damage, shouting obscenities, fighting, vandalism and property damage are examples of anti-social behavior.

What isn’t anti-social behavior?

As a group, teenagers often get a bad rep for doing nothing. Anti-social behavior isn’t a group of teens sitting around talking or playing in the park.

Tips on dealing with anti-social behavior:

1) Explain why you’re upset.

When you tell a teen you are upset, it gives them a chance to show that they are not like the others most likely causing the issue for you. By calmly expressing your concern and then asking them to help you solve the problem, it helps them understand that they have a role in making their neighborhood better. The key is to be civil and polite when speaking with teens and even if there is swearing involved, try not to swear back or get angry.

2) Use technology to deter teens from loitering

There are technological solutions, like the mosquito device, that deter teens from loitering by emitting an irritating sound that only young people can hear. The beauty of the system is that adults can’t hear the noise and it is entirely harmless.

3) Install outdoor lighting.

Having lighting outside your home or business will deter teens from gathering there in the dark. If they know you have multiple exterior lights that turn on when it gets dark, they’ll move elsewhere. Many businesses just have one light by the front door, and this isn’t enough to deter teens from hanging out in broad daylight before their shift starts!

4) Offer them something to do instead of loitering.

Being outside is a big part of being a teenager. One of the best ways to deter them from loitering is to offer them constructive things to do. The importance of youth clubs can’t be understated.

Tips for dealing with anti-social behavior are essential if you live in a neighborhood with teens. A lack of supervision for young people can contribute to negative outcomes, so teaching them to be positive and law-abiding members of the community is vital.

Since many teenagers also have smartphones, social media can be a great way to communicate with them and connect with them socially. If you are always on Facebook or Instagram, and your teenagers know it too, they may come by just to say hi. This is a nice way to limit the amount of time your kids misbehave in public.


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