If you’ve got children who are going through their teenage years, you should make yourself aware of the stresses of modern pop culture. Never before in human history, has there been so much pressure put on adolescents to look a certain way, talk and act cool, know the slang, the latest hit single, fashion and social movements. There used to be a time when a kid could just be a kid, with not many pressures of high expectations from their peers and be praised for being an individual. These days, apart from the stringent academic demands from school and college, the endless coursework, revision, exams and course choices, peer pressure plays a large role in development. Even if they have had a healthy upbringing of love and kindness, anxiety is a menace in their brain; it causes rational human beings to do irrational things, which can often lead to feeling alone. There some signs which parents should be on the lookout for to spot if your child is suffering from mental health concerns.
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Stubbornness and negativity
If you suspect school or college life is getting a bit too much for your children, try to pick up on signs of depression. Oversleeping can be a sign of mental fatigue because the body is willing, but the mind is tired and tries to shut down by going to sleep. Do your children often say ‘no’ a lot? Try to find out the reason if so, by asking question about their general life. Ask them what they want to do, or simply what they want. Often times it’s going to be much deeper than the immediate problem, such as asking them if they want to go some place of their choosing for a meal, watching a movie they’d like, etc.
Be mindful not to push them; they’re going through a really short, but fast time in their lives, where they’re finding themselves and who they are. It’s a good guess that they don’t know themselves, so there may not be a yes or no answer to your questions. Make them feel reassured, and show your understanding by swapping stories of your childhood and how stressful it was. Relating to someone who is stressed can soothe their worries, so they don’t feel alone.
Delving into the bottle
During the ages of 15-20, children are transitioning from childhood to adulthood, in more ways than one. Sometimes the stress of exams, difficulty finding a girlfriend or boyfriend to try new experiences can spiral their anxiety out of control. Because they don’t have the life experience, they don’t know which way to turn, or try and rely on previous solutions. Adolescents are experiencing the pressure of academic pursuit or work for the first time, and some find it easier to hit the bottle. See what kind of help you can get from your health provider, use your insurance to book an introductory session to a rehab facility. Teenagers who suffer from alcoholism, are more likely to be treated successfully, than adults in later life, so beat the disease to the punch if you see signs of trouble.
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Talk it out
It’s not rocket science, but it’s very effective. Just talk to your children. Treat them like an equal, try not to patronize them and give them lectures on life. At this age, they need someone who cares about them and takes an interest in their lives and interests. If you don’t take the time to know who your children really are, as people with thoughts, feelings, political and social beliefs, you’ll never be able to connect with them on a deep level; so talk it out.