Twenty-five – thirty years ago, the world was a different place for the average teenager.
The internet was in it’s infancy, cellphones were massive and satellite dishes were just making their way into homes (or backyards).
Kids played outside with their friends and were involved in after-school programs, community groups and sports teams. At home, there were chores to do around the house.
In high school, you had a part-time job with the responsibility of getting there unsupervised. School projects were researched in the library using a very heavy set of Encyclopedia’s and pictures cut out of magazines. If there was a question to be answered, you had to go find an adult.
Back in the 80’s or 90’s, life was a little simpler and the world just a little smaller.
Today, with the internet at our finger tips and cable TV, our children have access to information 24/7. Not all the information is helpful or accurate. Today, we have an extreme influx of teenagers diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
There is a new thought process surrounding depression and anxiety – yes there are biological components in some cases that may require medications combined with therapy to over-come, however; there are key factors to how we live today that directly contribute to these diagnoses.
In the 80’s, kids played outside; their friends were physically connected, by streets, schools, teams, relations.
Face to face relationships teach us a multitude of skills such as compromising, accountability, honesty, self-esteem and patience.
Physically connecting with people also serves our basic psychological needs of belonging, acceptance and value.
We, as humans, need to belong to a group. We are not designed to be solitary and thus we live in colonies or families and communities. We need to feel as though we are a valued member of the group; our thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.
If you have a teenager that is struggling, look at the broader picture.
Are their basic needs being met? Do they have the skills they need to succeed? Do they belong to a group? Do they feel valued?
When one member of the family struggles, the entire family struggles. I have found that the best way to create stability in the family is to look at the family as a whole.
Raising children today is difficult, I know that (I have 2 of own plus 3 foster children).
There are no perfect parents, but I will tell you, the best ones are the parents who are willing to look at themselves to find solutions for their children.
It’s not about what you’re doing wrong, it’s about finding processes that fit your family, and meet the needs of every individual in your family.
About the Author
Andrea Scarborough is an experienced Parenting Coach who can relate to any parenting challenge imaginable. As a Mom of 2 girls and a Foster Mom of 3 teenagers, she has developed quick and effective strategies to help you reduce your stress and return your family back to a state of peaceful harmony.
To learn more about Andrea, go to: personalsuccess.ca/