CREATING METHODS OF HAPPINESS, PEACE & SUCCESS

Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Behaviors that might suggest a teenager is experiencing difficulties



Parents often worry about their teens behavior. It is the norm for teenagers to sometimes appear withdrawn and moody and in their own world, but this shouldn’t last for a long time or interfere with their functioning.

We all have needs, such as feeling safe, liked, understood, and supported and they show up in different ways. There are times, however, when mental health issues can arise when things don’t seem to be going as expected. Your child may be experiencing lack of confidence, anxiety, perhaps even being bullied. Talk to them and help them express their feelings and come up with solutions.

The following is a list of behaviors that might suggest a teenager is experiencing difficulties.

If you are concerned about any of them, talk to your child and get professional help.

  • Becoming withdrawn and losing interest in friends, sports or favorite activities.
  • Having changes in sleep patterns such as not sleeping or sleeping for long periods.
  • Avoiding food, overeating or exercising excessively.
  • Seeming to be preoccupied or obsessed over a particular issue.
  • Having a change in mood such as becoming hostile or having feelings of anxiety or depression.
  • Having a sudden drop in schoolwork.
  • Doing things that don’t make sense to others.
  • Seeing or hearing things that nobody else sees or hears.
  • Being excessively tired or neglecting personal hygiene.
  • Wearing long sleeve clothes in hot weather. It may suggest they are hiding signs of self-harm.

Teens “Hooking Up”



Romantic KissHooking up is a trend amongst teens that means “some sort of sexual activity with no strings attached.”  It is like “friends with benefits.” It can include anything from kissing and petting all the way to intercourse. It bypasses all the courting rituals and end eliminates the boyfriend and girlfriend relationship.

Research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the likelihood of sex increases with each school grade level, from 32 percent in 9th grade to 62 percent in 12th grade.

So why are teens doing this? Basically, because they like someone, they think it’s ok and everyone else is doing it too. So it comes down to sexual excitement and peer acceptance.  This is fueled by all the media sources portraying sexual provocative images that socialize teens to think of sexual activity as normative. In addition, dating apps such as Tinder make it easy for teens to match up with other teens for sexual relations.

So what do you do as a parent?

First, get informed and develop an on-going, open communication with your teen. Explain to them that sexual activity can have physical and emotional consequences. Most teens don’t think about the emotional consequences. Have an open discussion without getting angry or punitive.

Then, don’t assume your teen is not having sex. Ask. Sex can mean different things to a teen. “Oral sex” may not be considered sex by many teens. Make sure they understand what you mean when you talk about sex. Listen to what they have to say.

Teens “hook up” to feel wanted and fit in as part of what has become socially acceptable by their peer group. It is important to know who your teen’s peer group is and what they are doing and where they are doing it. The most common time and place for teen sex is after school in someone’s house.

Even though it is uncomfortable for many parents to have this conversation with their teen, it actually helps strengthen your relationship.  Ideally the conversation should begin before your child becomes sexually active in any way. Regardless, having insight in your teen’s social life and keeping the communication lines open by listening to them and asking questions is the best way to protect them, both physically and emotionally.