It’s a Saturday afternoon and the usual argument is going on. Your teenager wants to stay home and hide in his or her room and you want them to join the real world and do something with the family. You get the all famous “I’ve got issues, I don’t have time”. What an adult considers as issues is totally different then what a teenage considers as issues. Often teens feel like no one understands or takes their problems seriously.
It is very helpful to know what issues your teen has to deal with on a day-to-day basis and remember that these are very real problems for your teenager and you need to take these issues seriously. Some of the daily issues your teen encounters may be: Gangs, peer pressure, fitting in, drugs, alcohol and sex, just to name a few. They may also be going through their parents getting divorced and having to learn to get along with step siblings. All of these issues must be handled carefully. If your child feels he or she will be in trouble for telling you there were kids drinking at a party they were at, chances are afraid to open up for fear of not being trusted.
Let your teen know that you are there to listen with an open mind and will help them deal with what ever the issue is and that if the issue is something you can’t resolve then you will help them find the right help. Watch your teen for signs of depression, rapid weight changes, and cutting or burn marks on their body, changes in grades or isolation. Changes such as these may require the attention of a professional. Keep the lines of communication open with your teenager, let them know you believe in them and your there to help.