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Crucial Reasons Parents Should Prioritize Teens’ Mental Health

Crucial Reasons Parents Should Prioritize Teens' Mental Health
Photo: Unsplash.com

Today, more than in previous ages, the teen years are filled with stresses and uncertainties. Parents often have a difficult time deciding when to intervene in their teenager’s life and when to let them experience life on their own terms. But these are the years when mental health problems can have devastating effects on teens’ self-image and life goals. Here are 7 crucial reasons parents should prioritize teens’ mental health to help them grow into confident, well-functioning adults.

Teen Years Are a Time of Changing Self-Image

Perhaps the most important change a teen experiences is who they are in a relationship to the world. During those short years, they make the transition from family-based personalities to individuals who must fit into the wider world. This alteration can often be confusing and disorienting, and teens often need help processing the experiences they encounter.

Teens Crave Peer Acceptance

The teen years are also a time of finding your place among your peers, developing your personality, engaging in more complex social interactions, and learning how to navigate relationships in a wider sphere of people. Often, their values come into conflict with actions going on around them, and they may experience anxiety and depression as a result.

Family Issues Hit Teens Hard

Problems within the family unit can cause a high degree of stress for teens who are engaged in trying to figure out the parameters of their own lives. Issues like financial problems, abuse, addiction, marital discord, and health problems weigh heavily on teens’ minds, and they often can’t talk about these issues with peers.

Academic Pressure Can Be Overwhelming

Pressure from parents to excel in academic pursuits, in the hope of getting into a good college or getting a scholarship, can lead to enormous tension about what courses to take and what extracurricular activities to participate in, to create a favorable impression on a college application. Academic stress can become unmanageable and can lead to avoidance, acting out, substance use, and other inappropriate behaviors.

Social Media Can Be Disruptive to Development

Social media has created a new dimension in young people’s development as they deal with the rough and tumble world of online communication. They may become the target of bullying or being pressured to be hostile to others in ways they wouldn’t ordinarily do on their own. This can cause conflicting alliances, stress, and difficulty managing emotions.

Poor Eating Habits Can Undermine Health

Teens are known for their bad food choices, and unfortunately, poor eating habits can undermine both physical health and mental well-being. Learning good life habits is an important part of getting ready for more adult goals and challenges.

Inadequate Sleep Can Undermine Mood and Decision-Making

Irregular sleep patterns during the teen years can add to the stress, making it harder to find emotional equilibrium and to make good decisions about friendships, activities, and other choices.

The decision to begin counseling can be an important one. Parents can help by taking the time to listen to their teen’s concerns and by being ready to provide access to professional help when they find their children struggling to manage their viewpoints and their emotions.


Published By: Aize Perez

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