Challenges Faced by Teenagers

INTRODUCTION[pic]
Teenage is a fundamental stage of life that each human being passes through. Some people face this period of their life strongly and positively, while others face many problems and difficulties. Teenagers. world is filled with fun, frolic and fashion. Or so the rest of the world thinks. But in reality, teenaged years can be taxing and traumatic.This depends on the environment these young adults live in, their parents, their friends, their living conditions, their education, and many other factors..
If you think that it is only the adults who have to battle several issues and problems, you are mistaken. Troubles and concerns are part and parcel of everyday life of today??™s youth as young as kids and youngsters. These problems can range from the common inferiority complex to major difficulties like that of drug abuse, sexual harassment and the pressure..
Adolescence is usually accompanied by an increased independence allowed by the parents or legal guardians and less supervision, contrary to the preadolescence stage.
The home environment and parents are still important for the behaviors and choices of adolescents. Adolescents who have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to engage in various risk behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, fighting, and/or sexual intercourse.In conflict with their parents, adolescents are more flexible than younger children, but more hostile and rigid compared to adults. The topics of conflicts between adolescents and their parents are often about the extent to which parents can control and supervise the adolescent, for instance conflicts about chores, schoolwork, curfew, and the adolescents right to privacy.

Teenagers face many problems such as becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, being influenced negatively by their peers, self-image and weight, or even arguments with their parents In addition to all of the other new and old teen problems, newer issues that teens face today include cyberbullying, school violence, shootings, and worry about terrorism. And social pressures and the pressure to do well in school is a big stress, as it has always been, for many teens.All these problems are explained in the project including measures to cope with these problems.

ADOLESCENCE-Adolescence (from Latin: adolescere meaning “to grow up”)[1] is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood (age of majority),[1] but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage.[2][3][4] According to Erik Eriksons stages of human development, for example, a young adult is generally a person between the ages of 20 and 40, whereas an adolescent is a person between the ages of 13 and 19.[3][4] Historically, puberty has been heavily associated with teenagers and the onset of adolescent development.[5][6] However, the start of puberty has had somewhat of an increase in preadolescence (particularly females, as seen with early and precocious puberty), and adolescence has had an occasional extension beyond the teenage years (typically males) compared to previous generations. These changes have made it more difficult to rigidly define the time frame in which adolescence occurs.[7][8][9][10]

The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood varies by country and by function, and furthermore even within a single nation-state or culture there can be different ages at which an individual is considered to be (chronologically and legally) mature enough to be entrusted by society with certain tasks. Such milestones include, but are not limited to, driving a vehicle, having legal sexual relations, serving in the armed forces or on a jury, purchasing and drinking alcohol, voting, entering into contracts, completing certain levels of education, and marrying.

Adolescence is also a time for rapid cognitive development.[38] Piaget describes adolescence as the stage of life in which the individuals thoughts start taking more of an abstract form and the egocentric thoughts decrease. This allows the individual to think and reason in a wider perspective.[39] A combination buy dissertations online of behavioural and fMRI studies have demonstrated development of executive functions, that is, cognitive skills that enable the control and coordination of thoughts and behaviour, which are generally associated with the prefrontal cortex.[40] The thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence ones future life, playing a major role in character and personality formation.[41

Adolescent psychology is associated with notable changes in mood sometimes known as mood swings.[citation needed]

Positive psychology is sometimes brought up when addressing adolescent psychology as well. This approach towards adolescents refers to providing them with motivation to become socially acceptable and notable individuals, since many adolescents find themselves bored, indecisive and/or unmotivated.[42]

Struggles with adolescent identity and depression usually set in when an adolescent experiences a loss. The most important loss in their lives is the changing relationship between the adolescent and their parents. Adolescents may also experience strife in their relationships with friends. This may be due to the activities their friends take part in, such as smoking, which causes adolescents to feel as though participating in such activities themselves is likely essential to maintaining these friendships. Teen depression can be extremely intense at times because of physical and hormonal changes but emotional instability is part of adolescence. Their changing mind, body and relationships often present themselves as stressful and that change, they assume, is something to be feared.[43] Sleep deprivation has also been linked to adolescent depression, particularly in the teen years.[44]

Views of family relationships during adolescence are changing. The old view of family relationships during adolescence put an emphasis on conflict and disengagement and thought storm and stress was normal and even inevitable. However, the new view puts emphasis on transformation or relationships and maintenance of connectedness.

Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. The natural transition from child to adult can also bring parental conflict as teens start to assert their independence. With all this drama, it isn??™t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage moodiness

CHALLENGES FACED BY TEENAGERS

In sharp contrast to the previous statements, these are some of the common issues teens all over the world are facing these days, which include friends and family issues, drugs, relationships, sex, coping with depression etc. Teenagers are forced into a world which is far from their control, either due to their own actions or by the actions of other people and family members, as a result of which teens themselves are the biggest sufferers.The challenges that they faced are:

PEER PRESSURE–For the first time in their lives adolescents may start to view their friends, their peer group, as more important and influential than their parents or guardians.[34] Peer groups offer its members the opportunity to develop various social skills, such as empathy, sharing and leadership. Peer groups can have positive influences on an individual, for instance on academic motivation and performance, but they can also have negative influences and lead to an increase in experimentation with drugs, drinking, vandalism, and stealing.[35] Susceptibility to peer pressure increases during early adolescence, peaks around age 14, and declines thereafter.[36]

In the search for a unique social identity for themselves, adolescents are frequently confused about what is right and what is wrong. G. Stanley Hall denoted this period as one of “Storm and Stress” and, according to him, conflict at this developmental stage is normal and not unusual. Margaret Mead, on the other hand, attributed the behavior of adolescents to their culture and upbringing.[37]
Most teenagers agree that they will follow a peers decision rather than their parents. Peers are more influential in a teens life and tend to have more power than parents. Peer pressure has always been present and will also always be present. It is not a disease or a crime, it is an influence; either a negative or a positive one. Negative peer pressure is an influence put on a person to do something wrong, or something the person doesnt want to do. This may be stealing, taking drugs, etc.
The time when a person is exploring the world with an all-new perspective, and is most concerned with his self-image and making his impact among his peers and buddies. When peer pressure, studies and college seem to be the biggest tensions in ones life, and being turned down by a crush at school is the biggest heartbreak one could experience. It is the time when all these problems and issues encircle a teens life.

During adolescence, a person has to cope up with daily issues such as academics, social and individual issues. Add to that some additional stress factors such as family issues and disruptions, and the responsibility of supporting a family as well as taking care of siblings, it seems to them that life is not worth living for. Due to this, the adolescent gradually goes deeper and deeper into depression and starts thinking that there is nobody to care and understand his feelings, and eventually sees suicide as his last resort, causing an irreparable damage and loss to himself as well as those close to him.

The truth is that teenagers in todays world are given more pressure than they are able to handle, and in addition to that the high expectations from the society and family add to this pressure and feelings of unworthiness and being not able to meet the expectations and demands of society arise inside them. One should remember that teenagers are not adults, NO! They are far from it. Although some are compelled to behave like one under certain circumstances as described above. In fact, during adolescence they are at a crucial stage of life when their minds are still vulnerable and developing, and when the unexpected turn of events forces them to land in adult-like situations, their childhood is actually being snatched away from them, which results in serious repercussions on their personality and character and affects their entire quality of life in a negative way in most cases.

Drugs between teenagers is one of the most serious problems, because it causes a change in the behavior of any teenager and a physical change too. Most of the teenagers use alcoholic drinks as a way to escape from their problems. Teenagers might also use them because of their friends influence. Poor teenagers might use them too, to forget their cold body and hunger. Alcoholism is a societys sickness that affects all people, including teenagers and adults. It is considered as a modern way to have fun. Some teens drink alcohol so they can become popular and well-known in their school. People who drink alcohol think that they can forget their problems and travel far away from reality. I think that drinking alcohol is extremely dreadful because it can turn into a long lasting addiction that can harm you psychologically and physically. In other words, when a person drinks, he/she may lose his/her 5 senses, and wont be able to think.
Family pressures, negligence from the parents side, depression and various other such factors are responsible for contributing towards drug-usage among teens , and ultimately suicide in some cases. In fact, suicide rates around the world, particularly in U.S have soared in the last couple of decades. According to a source, teenage suicide is the third leasing cause of death in U.S and even the world, and most suicides occur because of depression than any other cause

Abuse of Vicodin, a prescription narcotic pain medicine, reaches almost 10% of 12th graders and about 6% abuse cough medicines, both of which seem to be one of the newer fads and dangers to kids. In fact, some experts are warning that kids are turning more and more to their own medicines cabinets to get high.

In addition to Vicodin, teens are abusing Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, Adderall, Oxycontin, and whatever other prescription medications they can find.

Today, instead of just a childproof cap on your prescription bottles, you likely need a lock on your medicine cabinet. And knowing that todays teens are abusing prescription medications and over-the-counter cough medicines, it gives you something else to talk and warn your kids about.

A pill identifier can help you if you find your teen with a suspicious pill and arent sure what it is or why your child has it

The Choking Game

todays teens face some new issues that parents have just never heard of. The “choking game” is one of these issues.

The “choking game” involves teens who actually try to strangulate themselves, or have a friend strangle or choke them, until they pass out.

Why do they do it To get high.

Unfortunately, too many of these kids who pass out — especially when they do something to choke themselves when they are alone — dont ever wake up.

Is the choking game just an overhyped media problem that you dont have to worry about There have been 82 probable choking game deaths in kids and the 2006 Williams County (Ohio) Youth Health Risk Behavioral Survey found that 11% of kids between the ages of 12 to 18 reported playing the choking game.

That makes it important to learn the warning signs to recognize if your kids might be playing, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can include talking about the choking game and:

??? bloodshot eyes and/or marks on their neck
??? frequent, severe headaches
??? being disorientated after spending time alone
??? finding belts, ropes, or scarves knotted or tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs

As with other topics you try to talk to your teen about, you might bring the topic up by asking him if he knows whether any of his friends or anyone at school ever talks about playing the choking game.

Health Issues

Many of the health issues that teens are facing arent new, but they are issues that seem to be increasing. They include obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, and sleep problems.

Obesity is an especially challenging problem, as these overweight teens face many health problems and a risk of continuing to be overweight as an adult. Lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and drinking a lot of soda all contribute to the problem of teen obesity.

If your teen is overweight, it is a good time to get some help from your pediatrician, a registered dietician, and an exercise program or activity at school or in the community to help your teen with a healthy diet and reach a healthier weight

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Mental Health Issues

Teen mental health issues are another of the big challenges that teens face. And they are even more important, because one way or another, they seem to affect so many other issues, including youth violence, risky behaviors, and poor school performance.

Whether it is anxiety, depression, or your teen simply has a lot of trouble making and keeping friends, getting early and aggressive treatment with a mental health professional can be helpful. In addition to your pediatrician, look for help from a counselor, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist that specializes in teen mental health issues (adolescent psychiatrist).

BULLYING AT SCHOOL-
The 1st and foremost problem of youngsters all around the globe is bullying at school. It??™s a frequent complain of majority of young ones of being bullied by the peers around. Many children are mocked at by their friends for their obesity and even threatened not to tell about it to others. This causes more harm as the kid finds it hard to discuss the issue with anyone. If your kid returns scared from the school and is nervous to chat about the same, it is pretty likely that he/she had a grilling bullying session at the school.
The best way to solve such concerns is to show extreme patience with the kid. While the child may refuse to answer any queries at first, it??™s essential that you don??™t lose patience and get frustrated. Talking out the matter calmly with the child may develop deep trust in the heart of the kid. Simply give some time to the kid and he will definitely talk at length about his fears and concerns bothering him.
There is no denying the fact that the divorce rate is on a high these days. It??™s common for many couples to call it quits for their own problems. In the process, they often neglect the troubles that kids might need to face. Divorce can often result in kids feeling neglected, lonely and alienated, making them fall prey to several mental problems. In case the tension seems to take a toll on the child, be certain that you ease out his worries by taking the child to a cruise or any other fun activity. It will serve a dual benefit of offering relief to kids and giving the required time and space to the partners to sort out their differences too.
LACK OF ATTENTION-
Another common issue for kids and teenagers is lack of attention. While nobody likes facing ignorance and negligence, the situation is even more challenging for young children to deal with. Youngsters want attention of parents and want them to be around always. Nevertheless, spending time with kids is not always a possibility for parents owing to the busy schedule. Parents try to make up for this lack of time by making the kid cheerful with presents like games, computers and many such gadgets.
While kids have to encounter numerous troubles during the growing up years, it is the responsibility of the parents to help them solve difficulties by offering constant support and affection.