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For Family and Friends

Turbulent Teens: Tough for you, tough for them

Teens face many pressures that adults don’t take seriously. Their bodies are changing-they have to adjust to the new person they see in the mirror. They feel differently. They become interested in sex.

Self-doubt is constant. They feel pressure to conform and fear ridicule if they don’t.

These changes can be bewildering, frightening and even depressing.

Teens can have remarkable insights. But they also surprise us with their lack of good judgment.

Your teen needs you

At the same time teenagers are crying out to be treated as adults, they also need a nurturing home, a refuge. And though they deny it passionately, they need structure, limits, lots of help sorting out their lives and most importantly, love.

In the turbulence of growing up, it is important for us parents to remember (even if our teens seem to forget) that we love each other. In the end, that’s what makes the whole struggle worthwhile.

The stakes are high

Teenagers who don’t get what they need at home look elsewhere. Some run away from home. Many more consider other ways of running from pressure-a once bright and happy son escapes to drugs; a vivacious daughter starts drinking or gets pregnant.

You may say, “My teenager wouldn’t do that.” Most don’t. But even if yours wouldn’t, think about the following questions:

Where is your child right now?
What are your teen’s deepest fears?
Who is your son’s or daughter’s best friend?
Do your teen’s friends feel welcome in your home?
Remember, a strong relationship with your children is the best way for you to guide them and to prevent them from becoming a statistic.