Teens are exhausting – mentally exhausting! It can feel like ever day there is are new teenage problems to deal with and it seems like it’s all life or death. It can be easy to dismiss all the drama, but we have to be careful diminishing our teenagers emotions.
It’s proven they feel things more intensely and they need our help regulating all those emotions.
But at the same time, some teenage problems are very real and keep parents up at night. Teen alcohol and drug use is still prevalent, bullying and sexual harassment plague our teens’ schools and teen mental health is becoming a societal crisis.
Teen Mental Health
It’s no secret teen mental health issues have been dramatically increasing in the last decade. There are many factors contributing to these trends including increasing academic pressures, over-scheduling and then of course technology.
As smartphone accessibility and social media use among teens has risen, so have the rates of teen suicide, depression and anxiety. Suddenly teens have a constant feedback mechanism fueling all their adolescent insecurities and many parents don’t realize the damage it’s causing.
Unfortunately, continuing cultural stigma about mental health issues and a lack of treatment resources is only compounding the problem. Not to mention the lack of health coverage for teen mental health services.
But parents who stay involved, create open communication and understand the signs to look for can often intervene before many problems get out of hand. Sometimes giving our teenagers coping strategies, making sure they’re getting enough rest and limiting their screen time can go a long way to keeping our teens mentally and physically healthy.
Typical Teenage Problems
As much as things change, they also stay the same. Yes, there are struggles our teens face today that are unique to their generation. But many teenage problems are the same ones that teens have faced for decades.
The teen years are a time of social issues, peer pressure and raging hormones. Friendships are tested, hearts are broken and an acne breakout before a big date can be the end of the world.
Our teenage sons may be difficult, our teenage daughters may be drama queens and both are sure to have some serious attitude problems. But that is all par for the course when it comes to parenting teens.
None of us are going to be the perfect parent to our teens, but that’s not what our teens expect from us. They just need us to be there for them, to listen to them and to step in on those occasions when they’re still not quite ready to handle it all on their own.