10 Problems Teenager Face With Today Socially

Advances in technology mean that today’s teens are facing issues that no previous generation has ever seen. While some issues are not new, electronic media has changed or amplified some of the struggles young people face. The average teen spends over nine hours each day using their electronic devices. Their social media habits and media consumption are changing the way they communicate, date, learn, sleep, exercise, and more.

Diagnosing depression grew among adolescents, especially in girls, over the previous decade where roughly 8% of teens reported being depressed. Some researchers blame technology for the rise in mental health problems. For instance, spending too much time on electronic devices may be preventing young people from engaging in sports or peer activities that help ward off depression. Depressive disorders are treatable, but it is important to seek professional help. If your teen seems withdrawn, experiences a change in his sleep patterns, or starts to perform badly in school, schedule an appointment with your teen’s physician or contact a mental health professional.

Bullying is much more public and pervasive. Some believe this is due to the rise of social media. Cyberbullying has replaced bullying as the common type of harassment that teens experience. Talk to your teen about bullying regularly. Discuss what can be done when they witness bullying and talk about possible options if they become a target. Being proactive is key to helping your child deal with a bully. It is also important to talk to your child about when and how to get help from an adult. Remind them that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but instead a display of courage. Talking about how someone has humiliated them is never an easy topic.

Drug Use
In teens, marijuana use tends to exceed the use of cigarettes. In fact, many teens believe marijuana is less harmful now than in years past. This new perception may be due to the changing laws surrounding marijuana. Make sure you have regular conversations about the dangers of using drugs as well as the dangers of misusing prescription drugs. Many teens do not understand that popping a few pills not prescribed for them is unhealthy. Teens often underestimate how easy it is to develop an addiction. Neither do they always understand the risks associated with overdosing. Be sure you are talking about these risks on a consistent basis.

Alcohol Use
Talk to teens about the risks of underage drinking. Educate them about the dangers, including the fact that alcohol can take a serious toll on a teenager’s developing brain.  

Aside from the fact that overweight children are often targeted by bullies, obese children are also at a much greater risk of lifelong health problems, such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. They may also struggle with body image issues or develop eating disorders as an unhealthy way of changing their appearance. But parents are not always aware of these issues. Surveys suggest that parents are often unaware their child is overweight.  

Talk to your child’s paediatrician about the weight and body mass that is appropriate for your teen’s height and age and inquire about the steps you can take to ensure your teen is healthy. If your doctor does recommend a healthier eating plan or exercise, find ways to support and empower your teen.

Peer Pressure
While peer pressure isn’t a new issue, social media brings it to a whole new level. Sexting, for example, is a major cause for concern as many teens do not understand the lifelong consequences that sharing explicit photos can have on their lives. But sharing inappropriate photos is not the only thing children are being pressured into doing. More and more children are being pressurised into having sex, using drugs, and even bullying others.    

To keep them from falling victim to peer pressure, teach them skills to make healthier choices and resist peer pressure. Talk to teens about what to do if they make a mistake. Sometimes, they do make poor choices and may be too afraid to seek help. Demonstrate that you can listen without judging or overreacting and instead find healthy ways for them to make amends and move on. 

Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be great ways for teens to connect with each other, but social media can be problematic for several reasons. Social media can expose your teen to cyberbullying and so much more. While there are some benefits to social media, there are a lot of risks as well. Social media may have a negative impact on friendships and is changing the way teens date. It can even impact their mental health. No matter what precautions you take, teens are still likely to be exposed to unsavoury people, unhealthy images, and sexual content online. While there are measures being put in place to reduce the risks teens face online, it is important for parents to get involved. 

Help your teen learn how to navigate social media in a healthy way. Talk about ways to stay safe online. Most importantly, know what your teen is doing online. Educate yourself about the latest apps, websites, and social media pages teens are using, and take steps to keep your teen safe. You may even want to take steps to limit your teen’s screen time. 

On-Screen Violence
Teenagers are going to witness some violent media at one time or another, and it is not just TV, music, and movies that depict violence. Many of today’s violent video games portray gory scenes and disturbing acts of aggression. 

Over the past couple of decades, a multitude of studies linked watching violence to a lack of empathy.  The more violence the parents watch, the greater the possibility that parents will think it is acceptable for their children to view the same. Pay attention to your teen’s media use.   

Talk to your teen about the dangers of being exposed to violent images and monitor your teen’s mental state. It is also important to talk about sexual situations and racial stereotypes that they might see. Teens need to learn how to identify the positive and negative about media. It helps them be a healthier consumer when they can think objectively about what they are seeing online, in the movie theatre, or in a video game. 

How to Talk To Your Teen
Bringing up any difficult subject with your teen can feel uncomfortable and your teen is unlikely to respond well to a lengthy lecture or too many direct questions. However, having a conversation with your teen about difficult issues is not something that should be shied away from. Even when it seems like they are not listening, you are the most influential person in your teen’s life. It is important to lay a strong foundation before the window of opportunity closes. 

A constructive way to initiate a conversation regarding uncomfortable topics is to ask a question like, “Do you think this is a big issue at your school?” Listen to what your teen has to say. Try not to be judgmental, but allow your expectations and opinions to be clear. It is important your teen understands that you don’t condone certain behaviours and that they know the consequences for breaking your rules.