So Netflix recently came out with the second season of their popular series “13 Reasons Why”. Although this season is all about healing, we thought there is no other way to pay tribute to their first season by talking about what teens around the globe are going through. It doesn’t matter if you are familiar with the series or not as the problems we will discuss today have been troubling teens from the most densely populated country to the least populated one.
High school is one of the toughest journeys in an adolescent’s life and when it comes to their parents protecting them, all bets are off when their kids get out of their house and go to school. The school has an environment where we are supposed to learn and flourish ahead in our life but for many kids, it’s just not that simple. If you look at research reports, it can be seen that most of the students undergo some type of bullying in their school, may it be physical, verbal, social, or political and seem like it’s never going to stop but giving up is never the option to any of your problems. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death when it comes to adolescents and it’s high time that we take a minute to stop and find out the vicious issues that the teens are or might be facing. So let’s take a look at some issues that teens face in there every day and then we’ll discuss how to deal with them.
10. Eating Disorders
let us start with an issue that every female adolescent has gone through at some point of her life or the other. A major belief in many households when it comes to eating disorders or Anorexia is that it’s not a real disease and the parents think that their kid is just going through a face. Well, let me be the one to enlighten you if you share the same train of thoughts, that it is, in fact, a real disease which needs to be treated under a professional’s supervision. The constant pressure of being ultra-thin and having a model’s body is weighing down so many bright girls out there. So if you see you kid doing things like skipping meals, complaining about their body on a regular basis, displaying disgust over their eating habits, or anything related to this, don’t disregard it as a phase. Several deaths have been reported due to Anorexia, so keep your bias aside when it comes to teen problems and talk to your kids or get them professional help before its too late.
So Depression is another one of those problems that parents to young adults call a phase. We have come so far when it comes to evolution but some parents are still not ready to acknowledge the fact that Depression is in a fact a medical condition which needs to be treated by a professional in the medical field. Millions of teens battle depression on a daily basis without getting the proper help. In fact, I recently read about a girl who didn’t comb her hair for a year as she was facing depression and didn’t have enough energy in her body to perform the task and her parents had no clue. These kinds of incidents are a big inspiration to all the parents out there to get up and get their kids the help they need and deserve.
We discussed bullying in the introduction and how it can be done in various forms and shapes. Every school no matter what region it resides in has various groups formed by the students. There is a constant power struggle going on always in the corridors of every school and every teen wants to be the famous one. The groups you can easily spot are athletes, cheerleaders, students from a particular and famous club, etc. But what most of us miss are the quiet students walking down these hallways who slip in the shadows and have an invisible status when it comes to the social ladder. There are some kids deal out there who deal with bullying in a healthy manner by reporting it to the right authority even if there are dire consequences for them to face afterward. Even after that, most of these bullies go unreported as the students are always too scared to raise their voice. I urge all the parents out there to get away from your busy lives and ask your kid how they are feeling or how their day went. I will also ask all the students to stop hiding things from your parents and treating them with hostility. Just keep in mind that there is no one else out there other than your parents wishing for your best interests always. So no matter how much trouble you are in, just have some faith in them and share; who knows, after all, it might be the solution to all your problems.
7. Alcohol and Substance Abuse
There is a constant pressure on kids these days to match the activities of their peers and a lot of kids are unable to come up the rabbit hole once they have entered it. Parents may think that their kids doing drugs or consuming alcohol in school premises, but what they don’t know is that this thing most definitely exists in many schools may it be a school for rich or the poor. Teens like to experiment around this phase of their life but unfortunately, some of those experiments can turn out to be a poor life choice that haunts them till the very last. Smoking pot or ingesting alcohol is a common activity for the students and once they get a hang of it, they get good at keeping it a secret too. Adolescents dealing with abuse issues most of the time are not ready to acknowledge the fact that they are turning into addicts. This is because some of them do it for reasons other than to get high. It includes athletes taking steroids and other substances to improve their performance on the field, kids dealing with anxiety issues taking drugs to take the edge off and feel calm, kids dealing with eating disorders consuming drugs to get thin, etc. I want to convey the message to all you guys out there today, it’s never too late to stop but you have to take the initiative. So start looking and find the reasons that make will your life grateful and lead you down the road of recovery.
6. Peer Pressure
As I just explained in the previous section, Peer Pressure is something that a teen faces every day in their life may it be about a minuscule thing like what color of clothes they are wearing or a personal decision like whom they are dating. Young adults always want to be a part of the famous clique in school and if it means going to dire lengths to get entry into that group, they will do anything happily. A lot of straight – A kids get into trouble by doing something that they wouldn’t do without peer pressure. I want to say to all the parents out there to talk to your kids if you feel that they are acting out and don’t just let them get away with it by giving them any sort of punishment. I also want to tell all the teens out there that there might come a time when someone pressures you to do the thing that you know is wrong. Just resist the temptation because no matter how safe your friends make it sound or make you feel at that point of time, they will always pick themselves before you. So always look out for yourself and say NO wherever you should. Trust me, it may seem hard at that time, but it will save you a lot of trouble afterward.
5. Social Media
While the discussion about whether the social media is good or bad for teens has been going around for years, there is one thing that most people fail to notice. A lot of parents still believe that Cyber – Bullying is not a real thing as you are not even facing your attacker. Be that as it may, a lot of young adults are under immense pressure to achieve the most followers on their social media accounts or posting pictures of them looking perfect. Even the most popular students in school can be a victim of cyberbullying as there are a lot of trolls out there who just cannot see their peers being happy. Even if bullies insult people online, they can still garnish a lot of issues in their victims like low – self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and many other things. So I would like to request all the parents to monitor their teen’s online activities without invading their privacy and I would urge the teens to report it to their parents if they are facing any issues online may it be big or small. Just remember it doesn’t take a lot of time for a troll to do real damage in your life even if they are just writing mean things in their home on a computer which might sound harmless but can be really deadly.
4. Downfall in Academics
A lot of kids out there are fighting hard to keep with their parent’s expectations from them. Even though the competition is building up, a lot of kids are dropping out of school. Earlier when it came to dropping out of school, people always blamed the teen’s inadequacy to study properly. Teens are so eager to get perfect scores that they are burning themselves out. Getting into good colleges is at the number one priority of every teen. I would like to suggest the parents to find out more about the cause of the issue if their kid is failing in studies. I would like to urge the kids too to talk to their parents if they feel the pressure is too much for them. Your parents are your best allies so always try communicating with them about your problems so they can give you the best possible solution.
3. Graphic Content
There is a lot of violent content out there on the internet these days which is not suitable for the age of the audiences they are catering to. Teens can get access to games, videos, magazines online which contain graphic content not suitable for them. On the cover, it seems like a small thing as every teen gets curious to acquire new knowledge in this phase of your life. But what most people don’t know is that this kind of content can traumatize teens in a way so it might haunt them in their future too. Games filled with barbarity, videos filled with aggressive content, magazines filled with sexually disturbing content are a few examples of this issue. I would like to sternly urge the parents to monitor their teenager’s activity online and offline too. The teens should also avoid indulging in articles not suitable for their age and should go to their parents if they have any curiosity. I suggest this as parents will never give you false information so you’ll have all the facts before making a rash decision.
2. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse comes in many forms and shapes and often goes undetected in a lot of teens. It is usually doled out by someone close to them. Millions of teens face this issue on a daily basis in their life. An alcoholic or a junkie parent, a bully in school, a mean teacher, etc. may be the sources from which the abuse comes. These innocent teens are made to feel worthless and that they are deserving of the abuse they are getting. I would like to tell all the teens out there going through this that it is not your fault no matter what anyone says. Nobody deserves this in their life and things will get better once you find your way out of it. Never blame yourself and try talking to a trusted adult about this as soon as possible. Remember, it will only get better from the day you say NO and stand up for yourself.
1. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment is one of those things most females deal with at some point in their life. But what a lot of people are not aware of is that the rate of sexual harassment among teens has been increasing since long now when it comes to both boys and girls. Yes, it may be hard to hear, but boys go through sexual harassment too and while the girls may have the courage to speak up about it, a lot of guys remain silent due to the fear of shame. Sexual harassment can happen in a lot of forms including name calling, inappropriate touches, spreading false rumors and private pictures about some, etc. A lot of these activities go unnoticed by teachers as the attackers are always discreet when it comes to harassing their victims. The silence of the victims also plays a key role in nobody suspecting anything wrong is going on. I am not blaming the faculty of the school or the victims themselves but I just want to give out a quick reminder that nobody can attain justice until they take the first step towards it.
Now after listing out the most common problems teenagers face in their life, I would like to remind all the teens once again that no matter how far gone you are, asking for help will only make it better. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a parent, talk to any adult around you whom you trust. Just know that it will get better once you open up and let the pain and anger bottled inside you flow out. You must share so you don’t have to carry that burden on your shoulders anymore. Finally a note for the parents, communication is the key when it comes to helping your kids and patience will make you go a long way with them. This is for all the Hanna Bakers and Tyler Downs out there. Keep fighting and it will work out, in the end, no matter how long the road is.