Only a few decades ago, the most common problems teens faced were finding a career path and starting a family. In fact, the word teenager wasn’t even a thing until the 1920s. Today, however, teens are facing problems unique to our time. Here are the 10 most common problems teens face in 2019.
#1 – Acceptance
Even the most self-assured person struggles with acceptance from time to time. However, teens have it especially hard, due to their lack of maturity and perspective. The best thing we can do is offer parental acceptance. According to 3 Things that will Help Adolescents as They Search for Acceptance and Love, the writer shares this: “Parental love and acceptance is just as important (if not more important) because it is the framework within which other “you-are-lovable” messages are housed.”
Help your teen feel accepted by assuring them of your unwavering love and guidance—no matter what.
#2 – Stress
The pressures teens face from school, parents and peers, can create ongoing patterns of stress. It’s imperative that we help them deal with life’s stresses in a few intentional ways:
- Help them establish healthy boundaries.
- Teach them how to prioritize.
- Create a safe atmosphere at home.
Here are more stress-relieving tips from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
#3 – Depression and Anxiety
Perhaps, more than ever before, teens are battling depression and anxiety. And it seems to be linked with social media. It’s crucial for parents to watch for the dangerous warning signs of depression and anxiety. Find a trustworthy doctor and consider therapy if your teen shows signs of ongoing or worsening symptoms.
#4 – Self harm
Unfortunately, youth today are faced with more temptations than we ever dreamed possible. Not only are they enticed by substances such as drugs and alcohol, they are often tempted to self harm. It’s imperative, in 2019, that parents open their eyes to this issue. Even though it may be easier to ignore, we simply must be proactive. You may even need to reach out to a professional for help and guidance.
#5 – Desensitization
Sex, drugs, and violence have been part of the teen culture for many decades. However, it seems like kids are becoming dangerously desensitized. Perhaps, it’s due to the exposure of social media and bombardment of graphic images. As parents, we have the responsibility to rein this in. We must set healthy boundaries around these issues.
#6 – Bullying
Even with the anti-bullying programs today, the issue still remains in 2019. Teens everywhere are facing torment from their peers on a daily basis. It’s important for parents to work closely with schools, clubs, and workplaces to ensure they have anti-bullying policies in place. Truly, we can take a stand agains bullying in 2019. (Our kids will thank us for it!)
#7 – Sex
I’m afraid this wouldn’t be a relevant article if sex wasn’t mentioned. Although it’s been a temptation for teenagers throughout history, the prevalence of dangerous sexual behaviors has exploded in recent years. Communication is KEY for parents of teens. Although these types of discussions are uncomfortable, they are absolutely necessary in 2019.
#8 – Disrespect
There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to respect for authority these days. Teens are seeing their favorite movie stars and sport’s figures controversially displaying anti-authority messages. Teaching respect is of utmost importance. Parents have the primary responsibility in not only portraying respect but also requiring it from their kids. Here are some great tips in helping your teen interact respectfully with others.
#9 – Trust
Teens today struggle with trust issues. Many of them don’t feel like they can turn to their parents for advice. This leaves teens extremely vulnerable. We can help them by encouraging them to talk to other adults that we trust. Point them in the direction of a counselor, coach, or respectable friend. They need trustworthy mentors to guide them through their problems in 2019.
#10 – Motivation
It used to be that teens couldn’t wait to find a job, get a car, and build a life of their own. Today, however, teens seem to struggle with motivation and the confidence to move forward. It could be due to the fact that teens have become more reclusive in their virtual worlds. Or, it may be that parents aren’t as proactive in encouraging independence. Whatever the cause, we can motivate our teens and help them make important decisions regarding their future.
Read more about the 10 most common problems teens face and other topics at the KidBridge Blog.