When thinking about parenting, teenager issues seem to pop up as some of the toughest. Teenagers have passed the relatively calm years of grade school but aren’t into the adult years yet. Teenagers struggle to figure out where they are in life and who they are. They don’t know who their friends should be, what their future holds or how they should behave in life. They believe they don’t need their parents when this is a time they need their parents the most.
Unless you’re an expert in parenting, teenager problems may be overwhelming. Teens pull away from their parents, leaving parents wondering exactly what’s going on in their teenager’s life. Issues like sexuality, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and self esteem crop up at different times, making it difficult to know how to help the teenager. Parents may feel out of the loop, knowing there are things going on but unable to reach their teenager verbally in order to help them.
As you progress in parenting, teenager concerns become less and less. Teens usually figure out who they are and who their friends are. Teens also begin to figure out what they want to do in the future and they become less present oriented and more future oriented. Experimentation with drugs, sex or alcohol often continues with some teens and will continue to be a source of concern to their parents. When the teen gets their driver’s license, they become more mobile than most parents would like them to be. They go to parties and engage in risky behaviors.
To add to issues of parenting, teenager sexuality issues are becoming more out in the open now than they have been in the past. More teens state they are bisexual, gay or experimenting?often dating people of both genders. This is more common in larger cities than it is out in rural areas but, with the advent of the Internet, teenagers are dealing with sexuality issues on the web. They may explore their sexuality with a long distance partner of the same gender.
Fortunately for parenting, teenager pregnancies are down and teens are being more responsible for their sexual activity than ever before. Some of this could be related to the fact that teens can get birth control now without a parent’s permission at a low cost clinic or even at their own clinic. There is a great deal of education around the use of condoms in sexual education classes; still, there is a high risk for sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. They don’t understand the risks and catch many STDs like Chlamydia, human papilloma virus and herpes.
Even for experts in parenting, teenager issues like drug use or alcohol use can’t be overcome easily. Teens will continue to experiment with alcohol at parties, drugs like ecstasy and marijuana, and even solvent abuse. They do it in an attempt to fit in with their peers or to just see what it’s like to use these substances. Most are fine with it later and don’t continue using; others will continue to be addicted to these substances until they die or go through some kind of substance abuse treatment designed for those in their age group.