My associates and I are seeing teens with some unique issues. I say they’re ‘unique’ because the parents of today’s teens never had to deal with any of these concerns. The names of these concerns are foreign, but the outcome is the same: anxiety, stress, fear, sadness, loneliness, and the list goes on. Here’s a sample of the topics that are by now all too familiar to most parents of adolescents:
- Screen time
- Smartphone addiction
- Facebook depression
These are all things that we hear about in the news and talk about with our peers, but they’re also the kinds of things adolescents grapple with on a day-to-day basis. Every teenager I meet seems to have a cell phone, and they all have at least one story of how they were mocked, teased, ridiculed, or bullied on some social media platform. When I was a teenager and did something stupid, maybe just a few kids in the school would hear about it. Today, hundreds of students can hear about it within seconds of it happening. All with the touch or tap of a button.
October 10 is World Mental Health Day and the World Health Organization chose “adolescence” as its theme. One of the facts highlighted on their site is that half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14. This speaks to the importance that early childhood has on the development of resiliency and emotional stability as our children transition into adolescence.
If you have a teen in your home, take some time to just connect and speak to them. Here is a link to an article that summarizes what good parenting looks like, and the impact that good parenting can have on adolescence
What are some of the challenges and successes that you are having with your teen? Leave a comment below.