Teenagers are especially vulnerable to stress. In their time of discovery, they have anxieties about their sexual identity, their grades and, in many cases, their performance in extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, they may come to feel that drugs, alcohol or even suicide can also offer relief from emotional pain. You can help prepare children for the hard knocks of life. You can listen, let them know you care and support them through each crisis.
To give teens a stable base, there are many things to do. Make home a friendly place. Offer praise whenever you can. Assume a positive, helpful attitude. Be ready to listen at all hours. Talk straight, with no moralizing. Ask questions, without accusation or blame. Take a stand with reason, not revenge. Be consistent, not rigid. Educate yourself, than provide information about sexual concerns, STDs, drugs and alcohol.
Once you understand the feelings behind teen troubles, you can watch for the danger signals. Among them:
Some traits, such as increased independence and new interests are natural for the age. You can develop sensitivity to your teen’s individual traits. Then, you can keep the communication open.
“There are no classes in life for beginners: right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.” – Rainer Maria Rilke