The teenage years, most people agree, can be one of the hardest times in a person’s life. Many teens feel misunderstood. They may struggle from depression or social pressures, and they may act out in response to these issues. The issues that teens face vary, but most teens seem to act out in similar ways. The following ten issues are perhaps the most common problems that teens face today.
1. Cigarette Smoking
In spite of widespread knowledge that smoking cigarettes is harmful and even deadly, many teens still engage in this activity. They often turn to smoking because it makes them feel older and cooler. Many parents ignore smoking because it does not affect their children like other drugs may. However, this addiction is very dangerous, and it should be taken as seriously as an addiction to any other type of drug.
Many teens may face bullying at school or in their social circles. These teens may withdraw into themselves, but it is critical that an adult get involved in these situations. In many cases, intense bullying has even lead to suicide by the victim.
Shoplifting is not solely the domain of those who cannot afford to shop. Many teens shoplift regardless of their economic status. They may do it because they feel confused about the world, and they want to exert some power over authorities because they feel powerless.
The biggest problems with teenage depression is that it is often hard to notice. Many depressed teens express a lot of rage and act insolent when they are depressed rather than acting sad and withdrawn.
5. Teen Sex
Too many teens engage in sex when they are just too young to understand the consequences. Consequently, many teens forget to use protection, and they may contract STDs or become pregnant as a result of their actions.
Teen obesity just like child obesity is a huge problem in this country. Many teens overeat as a means of coping with emotional issues. Others are simply overweight because they have had poor eating and exercise habits since birth. Regardless of why the teen is obese, they may face teasing and a lower quality of life as a result. Intervening with these teens is tricky, and if done incorrectly, the intervention may simply encourage the teen to eat more.
Eating disorders are one of the biggest problems that teens face. Typically, anorexia is a symptom of a larger self esteem problem. If you believe that your child is not eating as a result of anorexia, it is critical that you act immediately. Eating disorders can cause huge health problems including loss of fertility.
Like anorexia, bulimia is another common eating disorder. These teens do not abstain from food, and thus, it can be harder to detect bulimia than anorexia. Teens with bulimia may have blisters on their fingers. They may also have weak teeth as a result of the vomit wearing down the enamel on their teeth.
Drinking can start at any age. Some students have even started drinking at the young age of eleven or twelve. Typically, teens start drinking because it makes them feel cool and older. They may continue to drink as a means of escape from their family or society.
Sadly, many teens turn to illicit drugs. In some cases, it can even be easier for teens to find drugs than it is for them to find alcohol and cigarettes. While many legal adults are not willing to buy cigarettes or alcohol for teenage children, drug dealers will sell drugs to anyone regardless of their age.
If your teen has experienced any of the above issues, they are not alone. It is not a reflection on your parenting abilities, but it is important to seek help for your teen. The Family Compass helps troubled teens.
Kaylee Wilson is a proud single mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at The Family Compass. The Family Compass helps Troubled Teens and brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings.