Top 10 Issues Teens Struggle with Today:
They suffer from negative body image.
They long to belong to supportive and accepting groups beyond their family.
They experience stress and difficulty prioritizing and managing their time.
They feel lots of pressure from peers, parents, and society to conform to conflicting expectations.
They are having to manage several social media apps and the emotional “roller coaster” that accompanies their digital world.
They lack good mentors, role models, and heroes.
They are tempted to begin unhealthy patterns with drugs and alcohol.
They are exposed to on-screen violence and unhealthy social media.
They face bullying—online and off.
They may participate in risky sexual activity and behavior.
Even the most self-assured person struggles with acceptance from time to time. However, teens have it especially hard due to their lack of maturity and perspective. The best thing we can do is offer unconditional parental acceptance. Help your teen feel accepted by assuring them of your unwavering love and guidance—no matter what.
The pressures teens face from school, parents, social media, and peers, can create ongoing patterns of stress. Being stuck at home and away from regular life adds to that feeling. It’s imperative that we help them deal with life’s stresses in a few intentional ways:
Help them establish healthy boundaries.
Create a safe atmosphere at home.
Let them talk about their feelings openly.
3. Depression and Anxiety
Perhaps, more than ever before, teens are battling depression and anxiety. Some studies show depression is linked with social media. Regardless of the source, it’s crucial for parents to watch for the dangerous warning signs of depression and anxiety. Find a trustworthy doctor and consider therapy if your teen shows signs of ongoing or worsening symptoms.
Unfortunately, youth today are faced with more temptations than we ever dreamed possible. Not only are they enticed by substances such as drugs and alcohol, often they’re tempted to self-harm. It’s imperative that parents be aware of this issue. Even though it may be easier to ignore, we simply must be proactive. You may even need to reach out to an organization like a crisis center or hospital social worker for help and guidance.
Even with the anti-bullying programs today, the issue still remains at the forefront of teens struggles. Teens everywhere are facing torment from their peers daily. It’s important for parents to work closely with schools, clubs, and workplaces to ensure they have anti-bullying policies in place. Truly, we can take a stand against bullying and help to create a more supportive community for our teens.
Sex, drugs, and violence have been part of the teen culture for many decades. However, it seems like kids are becoming dangerously desensitized due to early exposure to social media and information and images that revolve around these topics. It’s important to understand why kids do drugs, and look at ways to stop the desensitization toward violence and sex.
This list wouldn’t be a relevant article if sex wasn’t mentioned. Although it’s been a temptation for teenagers throughout history, the prevalence of dangerous sexual behaviors has exploded in recent years. The effects for high-risk sexual behaviors in today’s society can have devastating and lifelong consequences. Parents need to consistently try and keep the lines of communication open with their teens. Although these types of discussions are uncomfortable, they can make a huge difference in their decision making.
There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to respecting authority these days. Teens are seeing their favorite movie stars and sports figures controversially displaying anti-authority messages. Standing up for things you believe in, and teaching respect are both very important. Parents have the primary responsibility in not only portraying respect but also requiring it from their kids.
Teens today struggle with trust issues. Many of them don’t feel like they can turn to their parents or friends for advice. This leaves teens extremely vulnerable. We can help them by encouraging them to talk to other adults that we trust. Point them in the direction of a counselor, coach, or respectable friend. They need trustworthy mentors to guide them through these challenging years.
It used to be that teens couldn’t wait to find a job, get a car, and build a life of their own. Today, however, teens seem to struggle with motivation and the confidence to move forward. It could be because teens have become more reclusive in their virtual worlds. Or it may be that parents aren’t as proactive in encouraging independence. Whatever the cause, we can motivate our teens and help them make important decisions regarding their future.