Adolescents who are between 13 years old and 18 years old have issues from dating to depression, from acceptance to anxiety, from family living to developing lifelong friendships. They are at risk of substance abuse /addiction, pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), victims of bullying, divorce and dating violence. Teens in 2012 have more challenges than teens did in the 1970’s and 1980’s combined. They are concerned about their personal looks, friend’s opinions and beliefs and what the future will hold for them. Here are some things they can do to help themselves:
#1. Do not place yourself below the opinion of other people. YOU are YOU and there is no one else like YOU. Learn to like yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. There are things that only you can do and your uniqueness is what makes you special. Knowing this and believing in yourself is what will cause you to smile and lift your chin when you enter a room. By the same token do not think more highly of yourself; that is a sure way of losing friends and relationships.
#2. Replace dating with courtship. The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them and in their familiar environments. Go with him to his football practice. Go with her to her dance lesson. Go together to the grocery store and buy groceries for either of your families or for both of your families. One way to see how the other person manages money is to see them in action at the store.
#3. Eat healthy foods and do not skip meals. It is even possible to eat healthy foods at fast food restaurants; it is only a matter of making the mind set you are not ordering greasy, fried foods. Instead, you will look for the wholesome, healthy choices such as salads, fruits, foods that are baked, grilled or sautéed.
#4. Be on the lookout for bullying and do not participate. A person who is being bullied needs an ally and the person doing the bullying needs authorities to get involved and stop it. Bullying not only affects the victim, but all those who are present. The best way to keep that from happening is to:
Talk with someone you trust
Do not respond to bullying tactics
Keep evidence of when bullying happens (when in the form of email, Facebook post or text message)
Report incident to your school or local authorities
Ask for help.
#5. Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and teen pregnancies are on the rise in America, especially between the ages of 16 and 19 years old. Teens today need to find ways to express themselves other than in sexual acts. The media advertising has been so full of sexual graphics and seduction that teens and adults have been inundated and sublimely brain washed into thinking the best past time is having sex, but when in reality, the sex act has caused pain, sorrow, an unwanted pregnancy, sickness and disease. It is time for the teens of today (the future adults) to say “enough already” and turn aside from these suggestive ads, television shows and dance moves. Start your own new past times and ways of handling intimacy. It’s bound to be more creative and healthy than what is now.