On October 18, 2016, the largest high school tech campus invited Jeff Yalden to speak to their 1600 plus teenagers. Lake County High Schools Tech Campus in Grayslake, IL is one of the best campuses that Jeff has visited. Jeff was amazing with the quality of programs, the staff, and most important the teens he got to inspire. Jeff did three one hour sessions with 500+ in each group at the Lake County College Campus. What a day! Enjoy the video.
Being a parent of a teenager can be very challenging, distressing, and sometimes worrying. Many teenagers tend to push against the system in an attempt to gain a sense of independence; making parents feel criticized, rejected and confused. This can cause many problems within the family as emotions are high and there is a constant power struggle between the teenager and parents. It is very important for parents to understand what is going on inside the mind and the body of the teenager.
Understanding TeenagersThe average teenager’s body transforms at an alarming rate. This is, by the way, one of the main reasons why they sleep a lot. As their hormones move and surge, both the brain and the body respond in a different way. For instance, these hormones cause their emotions to go on a rollercoaster ride – this is why they have so many mood swings. Boys for instance, have to deal with a sharp surge of testosterone in their bodies while girls endure high estrogen levels. Hormones however, are only a small part of the entire story.
Tips for Coping with TeenagersKeeping these biological changes in mind, it is very important for parents to be understanding and supportive during these critical times. Here are some tips for you to better cope with your teenager.
- Be there for them – Contrary to what it seems, your child does want you to be there for them. Just give them a little time and let them handle the situation at their own pace.
- Reassure them – Many teenagers easily get scared by all the transformation that takes place including physical and biological. It is very important that you reassure them from time to time that everything is perfectly normal and that they have nothing to worry about.
- Be consistent with discipline – According to research, consistent boundaries that respect a teenager’s limits are the best way to provide them a sense of security whilst they are handling their inner turmoil.
- Be approving and supportive – A number of studies have confirmed that both girls and boys have a high level of self-esteem in their adolescence if they believe they have the approval and support of their family.
- Be patient – Patience is key to solving such problems. Parents have to be patient with the random outbursts of their teenagers and the mood swings. Impatient parents only make matters worse for themselves and their children.
- Be honest – Being supportive for your teenager does not mean that you sacrifice your own emotions and life. There will be times when you yourself will be feeling low. Be honest and upfront and tell your teenager how you feel. This will tell them that it is perfectly fine not to be perfect.
- Be hopeful – Give your teenager hope that everything will pass and things will turn to be just fine. Hope goes a long way in encouraging them to cope with their mental and physical changes.
Adolescence is not easy. It affects not only the teenager but also parents. The former undergoes many changes, including sexual, physical, hormonal, emotional, intellectual, and social – the combined pressures of all these changes can often become overwhelming for them and may lead to a number of mental health issues. Mental health problems are a major concern as some can be life threatening. Here are a few guidelines for parents and caretakers to positively identify any mental health issues that their children may be suffering from.
Mental Health Problems Are TreatableFirst of all, it is imperative to understand that mental health conditions can be treated. You can speak to a pediatrician, the local health department, the school’s representatives, and health care professionals regarding the treatment options available to you.
Keeping an Eye Open: Danger Signs to Look Out ForExcessive sleeping that is beyond the typical teenage fatigue. This could indicate substance abuse or depression.
- Loss of self-esteem
- Unexpected decline in their academic performance
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Significant personality shifts, such as excessive anger and aggressiveness
Key Mental Health IssuesSome of the key mental health issues that teens need to be monitored for are:
- Eating disorders
- Drug abuse
- Changes in the sleeping patterns
- Excessive moodiness and/or unexpected weeping
- Eating habits that cause weight gain/loss
- Excessive secrecy or paranoia
- Excessive isolation
- Abandonment of social groups and friends
- Obsessive concerns for body image
- Anorexia – averting food and significant changes in their eating habits.
- Bulimia – forced vomiting after eating food. You need to be on the lookout for significant weight loss without any changes in their eating habits.