Teenagers today are under so much pressure for many reasons. We are going to look into several of the most common reasons for this, and investigate how they influence each other.
- Pressure from school
- Frustration with life in general (confusion)
- Alcohol and drug problems
- Low self image
- Hormonal changes
- Problems with peers
- An unsafe neighborhood
- Divorced parents
- Chronic family illness
- A close death
- A move
- Too many activities
- Financial problems
The majority of a teens life is involved with school. Of course, grades and your achievements come into play here. Most parents are very carefully watching your grades; they want you to succeed at the highest level possible; this is only natural as they want the best for you and your future. They also understand that if you do well in school it will impact the rest of your life; for example high grades will result in you being accepted in the best universities (if college is your goal) and highly valued scholarships. So the very real concern of how you do in school can pose pressure for most teens.
Frustration with life in general and confusion for a teen is totally understandable. Most teens have several issues with the bullet points mentioned above; certainly every case differs, but just having to juggle several of these at the same time is in itself a problem.
Alcohol and drugs, which are rampant in today’s world, will more than likely play their card in a teens life. Depending on a specific individual’s feelings about drugs the path of a teens life will either not become involved with them or the opposite. The reason for this decision is influenced by many factors also noted in the bullet points above. However, we must not forget that the alcohol/drug factor is not only an issue for a teen, but for all age groups.
All of the points mentioned above can cause or lead to the problems of low self image. We must remember that at this point in life our brains are not fully developed; hence our emotional development is impaired which can lead to doubts about who we really are, as well as what is to become of me?
Hormonal changes are natural growth changes that occur in all teens; we have no control over this biological condition; in some of us these hormonal changes cause a lot of different concerns, whereas with others they pose no problems at all. Again, this depends on the individual and no two cases are the same; however, if it is a problem that persists an examination by a medical doctor should be considered.
Problems with peers and friends may occur; however, this is not exclusive to teens only. It occurs throughout life to us all. The solution to this is to be polite and considerate to everyone, and to understand that we are all here to help each other and enjoy life to the fullest
An unsafe neighborhood is a particular dilemma for a teen; there is little that can be done about this as the solution is to move. It is very important for a teen for their proper development to always feel safe and not fearful.
If the teens parents are divorced this can lead to severe problems and even trauma for the teen. Since the brain is not fully developed a typical reaction is that the teen blames themselves for the divorce; they feel that the divorce is the result of something that they have done wrong; this of course is not the case. To help the teen it is a good idea to bring in a therapist or a specialized family therapist to help heal this condition.
A chronic family illness will bring sadness and misfortune to the whole family. The effects of this can be devastating to a teen. The teenager will most likely suffer some of the above explained bullet points as well as from the chronic illness factor .If the teen comes from a highly spiritual or religious family the pain from this situation may be lessened. However in many cases of this kind professional help from a religious counselor or therapist may be needed.
A close death is emotionally similar for the teenager as the last two paragraphs. Most teens need help here. The remaining family members must be very compassionate of the teens feelings, and they must go out of their way to comfort and to make them feel safe and secure.
Being involved in too many activities (sports, the performing arts, the debate club, The Honor Society, etc.) can actually be too much activity even for someone who is young. Parents must monitor this to be sure that their child is not too overwhelmed and exhausted.
Today (as opposed to in the past) finances may be a serious problem for the teen. In fact, all too often the teenager has a job when in high school and later in college or advanced studies. This financial tension when linked to some of the other explained conditions can easily create enormous stress.
We hope that you now have a better more comprehensive understanding of what today’s teenagers experience in their daily lives. As adults we should be aware of this and extend empathy and understanding towards our teenagers.
Expectations these days