Are you parenting a teen? Feeling overwhelmed by the stress and worry of making sure you give your teen the best possible start in life?
Spending some time learning more about the five main teenager issues is a great way to learn more about what challenges your teen is facing, so that you can help them through. Although all teens will be met with slightly different challenges depending on where they live and their social groups, there are a number of issues that present themselves to almost every teenager. Many parents feel uncomfortable discussing some issues with their teen, but it’s really important that you open the lines of communication and let your teen know that you care.
Teenager Issue No. 1: SEX
If your teen isn’t having sex, they’re definitely thinking about it. There’s a lot of pressure on teens these days to have sex, and some children are even getting caught up in sex really young. Discussing safe sex with your teen is really important, as well as stressing how important it is for them to wait until they’re ready. This conversation doesn’t need to be lengthy, should be informal and you shouldn’t be too opinionated, because that can push your teen away from listening to you. If you don’t talk to your teen about sex, their main source of information is going to be from their social group – a small conversation can make a big difference.
Teenager Issue No. 2: DRUGS
Most teenagers are all about pushing limits and testing the waters, and a large percentage of teenagers will experiment with drugs at some stage. While it would be best if our teens never touched drugs, in this day and age that is somewhat unlikely. Make sure your teen always knows that you are there for them, regardless of what they have done. Talk to them about the risks and temptations of drugs, stressing that this can be a very dangerous path.
Teenager Issue No. 3: ALCOHOL
Depending on where you live, your teen will be able to access alcohol relatively easily through older friends or siblings. It’s important that you explain to your teen the risks of getting drunk and to ensure that they are aware that alcohol can be quite a dangerous substance if abused. Many parents find it helpful letting their teens consume a little bit of beer and wine with meals to get rid of the stigma of drinking.
Teenager Issue No. 4: BULLYING
Most teens will fall victim to bullying at some stage or another. It’s important to stress to your teens that bullying tends to just be a stage and that they should do their best to ignore it – providing a reaction only adds fuel to the fire. Make sure your teen knows if it goes too far that you will be happy to step in and support them.
Teenager Issue No. 5: PEER PRESSURE
One of the biggest struggles of teenagers is dealing with peer pressure – it can be both intimidating and suffocating. The pressure to impress your peers is never hiring than during the teen years, when you are busy trying to figure yourself out and ensuring that you don’t stick out too much from the crowd. Let your teen know that it’s natural to want to fit in, but they should never have to compromise themselves or their morals to do so. Be sure to spend some time telling your teen all the things you love and appreciate about them – that will help build their confidence and ensure that they know they always have your support.
What teenager issues has your teen dealt with? Do you have any tips for parents who are trying to help their teens through these turbulent years?
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