Teenage is like an anchor that guides the ship of an individual’s life from childhood to adulthood. It is one of the most important stages in an individual’s life; it is the one stage where the most transitions happen- both mentally and physically.
Technically speaking, teenage is the period when a person is between 13 and 19 years of age. The legal definition of teenage is stated as that age which follows puberty and precedes the age of majority. A lot of changes are experienced by individuals during this time. There are physical changes like spurt in growth that is sometimes steadfast and sometimes almost negligent. It is also the time when individuals become more mature and start having real-life experiences that might potentially make a huge impact on their futures. Needless to say, teenage is bound to accompany a lot of issues and complications.
Teenagers generally have a long teenage issues list. It might not seem so on their faces or their social behaviour but there are a lot of issues underneath that needs to be tackled with proper measures. Because if not taken care of in time, some of these issues can turn out quite troublesome for the teenagers- maybe not then but later in life.
So coming to our main topic of concern
What do teens worry about?
We might think that kids seldom have anything to worry about, but that’s where we are wrong. Kids, especially teenagers, have a lot going on at the same time. There’s school, there are friends and relationships, then there is the pressure of growing up and to top it all-the bodily changes (both physical and mental) that they are experiencing. But most of these problems are never spoken of because they are too scared to speak. They are scared of not conforming to societal norms and sometimes, they choose to give in to the peer pressure rather than thinking things out. Also, they tend to forget that they are not the only teenager around and that a lot of other people are too experiencing the same common teenage problems. That is one of the major problems with teenagers that makes it difficult for us parents to recognize what’s troubling them.
To be frank, the teenage issues list is a long one, but the ones listed below are the most common teenage problems. Here is the list of the common teenage problems that are true to all teenagers.
- Body Image Issues: It might seem a petty issue but yes, it is surely a matter of utmost concern to teenagers. During teenage, there are a lot of bodily changes taking place like the growth of facial and body hair, acne breakouts, more prominent upper body changes in girls and voice-breaking in boys. And all these changes sometimes make the teenagers feel different from the others. Many also go on to think of themselves as ugly just because of some acne spots or other very common weight problems. Sometimes, they feel embarrassed when puberty hits them earlier than others as just makes them feel and look very different.
- Family Issues and Conflicts: Family has an important role to play in every stage of human life. Everything that goes in and around the family affects each of its members, teenagers included because they are now mature enough to understand things that were earlier harder for them to decode. Sometimes, they might act ‘cool’ and try to convey that they don’t care about what goes on with the family, but they do care. Also, they are very likely to have conflicts with parents on different topics because they feel like nobody understands them. These family conflicts are common to every teenager of every generation. These conflicts sometimes remain with them for a long time and can sometimes taint relationships with family members.
- School and Grades: Teenagers spend a large amount of time at school or doing schoolwork. As they enter teenage, the school gets a little different for them. The study load increases as they gradually grow up and so does the pressure of performing well in exams. Good grades seem like a mark of ‘intelligence’ and a sign of being a ‘good kid’. The realization that grades are an important determinant of their future sets in with their maturation and the approval of teachers and peers also seems like an important validation that they need to succeed.
- Friends and Peer Pressure: Peer pressure is constant in terms of common teenage problems. The pressure of ‘fitting in’ can also make them go to extremes sometimes. Being surrounded by a friend circle is like a major validation during the teenage. Being a part of a friend circle also ensures that they are not that one odd kid that gets bullied by the others and also that they are backed up by others if they ever face any such situation. So teenagers might sometimes resort to risky behaviours to ensure that they are taken in as a part of a group. Because if not, they are under the constant threat of being bullied without having any friend to back them up.
- Love and Relationships: It is during the teenage that people tend to set foot into the world of dating. And yes, it is completely normal for teenagers to be dating as the changes in their body bring along the attraction to people of the opposite sex. Although teenage relationships are pretty innocent, they are constantly under the fear of being discovered by parents or teachers. Then there is also the fear of how long the relationship will last, or will it last at all. Others, who are not in any relationship, worry about not being attractive enough to be in a relationship. Many others just establish relationships for the sake of being in one and thus give in to the peer pressure.
Read | Teenage Dating: Moral or Immoral?
How can we help?
This is the trickiest part when it comes to problems with teenagers. The fact that they don’t divulge the details of their troubles makes it different for us to find possible solutions.
So what do we do?
For starters, paying more attention to your child can help a great deal. We know you already do that, but just pay a little more attention to how things have been different for them in teenage. Make comparisons with how things were before. This will make it a lot easier for you to identify what’s troubling your teenager.
Next, talk and listen. Talk about their feelings about different things- about the school, about friends, about how they generally feel. Talk about how it was like for you, draw out similar instances from your life to make them realize that what they are feeling isn’t anything odd. Make them feel loved and valued. Make them realize that you believe in them and that you will stand by them, no matter what happens.
This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.