Teenage angst is something we remember all too well. The first heartbreak, the peer pressure, the quest to look good and the need to fit in are pressures that we look back upon and smile at knowing that we are now too old and too wise to ever be overly concerned by these issues again. In fact, we are astounded that we were ever so bothered about such trivial things in the first place. However, as a teenager, these issues are your entire life and the ability to find your place amongst your social hierarchy can seem like the most important thing in your world.
As a parent to a teenager, you want to ensure that you provide an environment that sees your son or daughter develop into a well rounded, mature and decent adult. But what about when things go wrong? We may look back on our teenage years through comical rose tinted glasses but what about when angst does take hold, and your teenage son or daughter find themselves in dangerous situations. Take a look to see what you can do to support your child through their teenage years.
Social Media And The Pressure To Look Good
When we were young, social media hadn’t been invented. Our circle of friends didn’t extend beyond the four walls of our school. The youth of today has hundreds, maybe even thousands of ‘friends’ from all corners of the globe thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The need to keep up, look good and compete is more rife than ever.
It’s important that you are approachable should your son or daughter need to discuss any worries with you. They need to feel confident that you are taking their issues seriously and that you won’t belittle their problems as something trivial. Teenage girls, in particular, are pressured into maintaining a thin figure at the detriment of their health. It’s vital that you foster positive relationships with food and exercise and that you praise your children for their appearance and celebrate their individuality.
Teenage angst when not addressed early enough can quickly spiral into a depression that is difficult to emerge from. Like anyone struggling with a mental illness, your child will retreat and isolate themselves. It’s vital that you look out for signs of self-harm and self-neglect using a checklist like the one found at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net and try to establish an intervention as early as possible.
Depression can also be the beginning of something much deeper, and you need to do all in your power to halt it before it takes hold. Your child may fall in with the wrong crowd and feel pressured into activities that they are not willing to do yet embark upon merely to fit in. Taking drugs and drinking alcohol could see the initial stages of addiction creeping into your teenager’s life. Step in early and seek the help of specialists at a rehab facility such as www.orlandorecovery.com and encourage your child to confront their issues head on and with your love and support. The recovery center will have many treatment options available from outpatient care to a residential program to aid your child on their road to recovery.
It’s important that you take any relationship that your child embarks upon seriously. Teenage relationships may get serious very quickly. Both your child and their partner may feel like they are in love and have a genuine future together. Don’t belittle this otherwise you run the risk of driving your child away into a secretive and possible dangerous relationship.
By taking the relationship seriously and supporting your child, you are attempting to stop unwanted pregnancy and unhealthy attitudes towards relationships. It can be very difficult to be supportive especially if you don’t particularly like your teenage child’s choice of partner or if this partner is significantly older. If you forbid the relationship from the start, this will be like a red rag to a bull resulting in them carrying on an illicit affair without your knowledge. This would be the worst possible outcome.
Sit down with your teenager and his or her partner and set some ground rules. Don’t just enforce but also listen to what they have to say. Treat them like adults, and they should respond in kind.
It is easy to forget just how traumatic teenage years can be. It is even more important in this day and age that you listen to your child, address their concerns and be the supportive parent that you pride yourself on being.