Teen Health and Other Issues
As teens, our lives didn’t seem so complicated. We went to school, were close to our immediate family, applied for part time jobs to help with the rent, perhaps volunteered at camp during the summer, and overall had a pretty good balance in our lives. Helping your teen balance it all today can be a challenge.
Teens today have been blessed with families who will do anything to ensure they have a proper education. Consequently, studying for exams and attending high performance schools so the chances of getting into the college of their choice is within range, can be a daunting task. In order to help with tuition, some teens will take on full time jobs during the summer. Some will volunteer their time to a charity or a summer camp, which is a prerequisite for college submission.
With all of this going on, their lives are analogous to a teeter-totter. They haven’t yet found a way to stay balanced. This is where you, as a parent, can help. Being supportive, listening to the ranting and raving, and advising without pushing your teen in a certain direction, are all tools you can use to help balance your teen in all facets of their life.
For example: If you find your teen is sinking under the pressure of studying for high school end term exams, you can ease the load by telling them it’s okay if they freak out, have their tantrums, and stay up late at night to study. But also tell them you will act as their study partner. Put on a pot of coffee and let them direct you. Assure them that you understand what they are going through. Tell them once the exams are over, you will take them out and celebrate.
So too, if their life is spinning out of control because of issues they cannot resolve, ask if they’d like to talk. Invoke the wisdom you have gained when you were a teen. Site examples of times you felt out of control and what steps you took to resolve issues. Offer suggestions, not mandates.
Soon, your teen will be an adult and what you do in the interim will directly affect how they handle situations. Be a positive force in their life, but at the same time, allow them the latitude to figure things out for themselves. Knowing you are always available as a safety net will give them the go-ahead to figure things out on their own. Helping your teen balance it all requires you to approach a problem objectively, even though you know your child is betwixt and between. It requires a balance within you as well.
I will address teen health and other important issues touched upon in this article. My hope is that these articles provide tips and suggestions on how to better cope with pre-teens and teens as they develop mentally and physically through adulthood.