Only a few decades ago, the most common problems teens faced were finding a career path and starting a family. In fact, the word “teenager” wasn’t even a thing until the 1920s. Today, however, teens are facing problems unique to our time. Here are the 10 most common problems teens face in 2020.
Even the most self-assured person struggles with acceptance from time to time. However, teens have it especially hard, due to their lack of maturity and perspective. The best thing we can do is offer parental acceptance. A recent study published in the journal Plus One showed that there was a significant link “between children’s psychological maladjustment and perceived paternal and maternal rejection.”
Help your teen feel accepted by assuring them of your unwavering love and guidance—no matter what.
The pressures teens face from school, parents and peers, can create ongoing patterns of stress. It’s imperative that we help them deal with life’s stresses in a few intentional ways:
- Help them establish healthy boundaries.
- Teach them how to prioritize to simplify their life.
- Create a safe atmosphere at home.
3. Depression and Anxiety
Perhaps, more than ever before, teens are battling depression and anxiety. Some studies show it could be linked with social media. Either way, it’s crucial for parents to watch for the dangerous warning signs of depression and anxiety. Find a trustworthy doctor and consider therapy if your teen shows signs of ongoing or worsening symptoms.
4. Self Harm
Unfortunately, youth today are faced with more temptations than we ever dreamed possible. Not only are they enticed by substances such as drugs and alcohol, often they’re tempted to self-harm. It’s imperative, in 2020, that parents open their eyes to this issue. Even though it may be easier to ignore, we simply must be proactive. You may even need to reach out to an organization like the Crisis Text Line (link below) for help and guidance.
Sex, drugs, and violence have been part of the teen culture for many decades. However, it seems like kids are becoming dangerously desensitized. It’s important to understand why kids do drugs, and look at ways to stop the desensitization toward violence and sex. Common Sense Media offers some good tools in this area.
Even with the anti-bullying programs today, the issue still remains in 2020. Teens everywhere are facing torment from their peers on a daily basis. It’s important for parents to work closely with schools, clubs, and workplaces to ensure they have anti-bullying policies in place. Truly, we can take a stand against bullying in 2020. (Our kids will thank us for it!)
This wouldn’t be a relevant article if sex wasn’t mentioned. Although it’s been a temptation for teenagers throughout history, the prevalence of dangerous sexual behaviors has exploded in recent years. Communication is KEY for parents of teens. Although these types of discussions are uncomfortable, they are absolutely necessary in 2020.
There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to respecting
Teens today struggle with trust issues. Many of them don’t feel like they can turn to their parents for advice. This leaves teens extremely vulnerable. We can help them by encouraging them to talk to other adults that we trust. Point them in the direction of a counselor, coach, or respectable friend. They need trustworthy mentors to guide them through their problems in 2020.
It used to be that teens couldn’t wait to find a job, get a car, and build a life of their own. Today, however, teens seem to struggle with motivation and the confidence to move forward. It could be due to the fact that teens have become more reclusive in their virtual worlds. Or, it may be that parents aren’t as proactive in encouraging independence. Whatever the cause, we can motivate our teens and help them make important decisions regarding their future.
Problems Teens Face — Sources
Saturday Evening Post – A History of Teenagers
PLOS One Journal
Stress-relieving tips from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Mayo Clinic – Signs of Depression
Self Harm – Crisis Text Line
Common Sense Media