Adolescence Education Session By Dr. Nicholas CorreaDirector, New Horizon Scholars School
Family TiesEducate your child that when everything fails, his familywont. This aspect needs more of an involvement fromyour end. Let your child communicate with you. If he isopen and is able to tell you what bothers him, you willhave no problems with that.You have to let your child know that whatever mayhappen, his family is always there to love and care forhim. He may be the worst prodigal child in the world, but,if he knows where to go to when the sun is not at itsbrightest anymore, you will be able to save him from beinglost in total darkness.
Adolescents are classified as those individuals in agebracket of 12 to 18 years old. They are calledteenagers and this is the stage that is very crucial.It is during this time that your kids are trying to findtheir identity and struggling between listening to homeor environment.Most likely to happen is that when the homes rein isnot tightened, you may end up losing your teenager tothe environment and you will have a hard time gettinghim back.
If you must notice, at this stage, adolescents havethe tendency to be rebellious. They are veryoutspoken especially if the childs environment ismore of an extrovert type, wherein the child isable to express his feelings freely.This is healthy and needs only a little bit ofguidance. However, if the childs upbringing maylead him to be aloof, timid or shy he may just hidehis feelings and may end up with adolescentdepression.
If you, as a parent, are able to manage your adolescent atthis point of time, your child can grow to become aresponsible individual with a good disposition in life.On the contrary, if you are not able to give him properguidance and the support that he needs during this stage,he may end up getting involved in gangs, drugs and aruined-future.It is then imperative to give proper adolescent educationfor him to be aware if he still needs to continue hangingout with his friends or stop seeing them.
Adolescents and Adolescent PsychologyAdolescence is the time where a child begins tobecome an adult. This may also be called theteenage time. The teenage time is where a personwill change the most. This is due to the fact that theywill be making new friends and beginning toexperience peer pressure along with their physicaland mental changes. They will not be that little girlwho played with dolls or that boy who played withtoy trucks anymore.
Adolescent psychology deals with all of the problems that could ariseduring the adolescent period of time. This field has been studied andtalked about so much that there are a separate class of psychologiststhat specialize in adolescent studies.There are many adolescents that will become pregnant during thetimeframe of 12-19. This is because their bodies are changing andthey begin to think about engaging in sexual activity. Unfortunately,many of these teens will not think to use the necessary precautionsbefore they act on their impulses and thus end up having a baby ninemonths later.If the adolescent is not getting pregnant or engaging in sexualactivities, then they may have decided to experiment with drugs oralcohol instead.
Problems such as eating disorders and depression mayalso arise during the adolescent timeframe.Adolescents tend to feel insecure and look forguidance to help them learn.They may be reaching out to the wrong group ofpeople though. These people could be involved ingangs, or could feel the need to steal or damage otherpeoples property.Adolescents do not know how to figure out what theirown identities should be, so during middle school andhigh school they join groups full of people they thinkthey would like to hang out with.
The people who a teen makes friends with may decide howthe teen acts or what the look like. If a friend does not likewhat one adolescent wears, they will try to change it if thatadolescent is in the group.If this same group leaves one of the teens behind, thatteen that is left behind may become depressed and whilesomeone is depressed, they do not want to make newfriends. A way someone behaves is always linked to whothey spend the most time with.The depression and anxiety that an adolescent can facemakes adolescent psychology an important part in manyteens lives.
A parent needs to learn how to cope with the changes that arehappening in their adolescents life. This is why many parentshave opted for adolescent counseling that will not only help thetroubled teen out, but will also explain what is going on to theparent as well.The parent will learn how to treat their growing child as anindividual young adult instead of as a baby who needscomplete protection. Most parents do not want to think of theirchild growing up, because that means that one day that childwill be leaving them.This thought will not only stress the parent out, but the teen aswell. The teen will not feel as if they can talk to their parentabout what is happening in their lives, because they do notwant their mother to cry or their father to scold them.
Adolescent psychology has been studied further and improved overthe years. These days, if a teen goes into a therapist office, thetherapist will be able to suggest what the teen should do in varioussituations.Sometimes an adolescent just needs to talk to someone who doesnot know anything about them, so that they can feel more confidentabout opening up to the therapist and not think that they are justtrying to make money from their visits. Therapists are trained tolisten and give good advice, so usually they will not think of themoney involved and will instead want to help each individual out.Adolescent psychology can open up communication lines from aparent to their teen and may also help the teen realize who theyreally are and what they want to do with their lives. They do not needmedication to help them. Most of the time, they just need someoneto listen to them.
Dos and Donts in Parenting AdolescentsParenting adolescents has never been a walk in thepark. It has even made harder these days because ofthe influence of modern technology, media exposureand the so-called give-your-child-freedom rules.Yet, the basic rules still apply and both parent andchild should know this: trusting the child completelywithout him being abusive of that freedom. Here aresome tips that may find helpful when dealing with anadolescent at home.
•Do let your child know that their opinions, ideas andfeelings are things that most matter to you. Take forexample, deciding on the school he would go to in highschool or college perhaps, do make a suggestion but neverdictate him where to enroll him.Weigh the options with him. Both of you can get a piece ofpaper and write down some schools and the advantages anddisadvantages of each school. Let your child speak whats onhis mind. This can be very helpful to both of you so thatwhen he feels unhappy in the school, he cannot blame youbecause he chooses it.
•Do appreciate him even for simple things. Appreciation isvery important since this will help boost your childs self-confidence. When your child knows that you are there tosupport him, your child will have that trust on you not that whathe does matters and that he is important.If your child is able to clean the house, cook you some food orfix your room, appreciate and thank him for doing that even if itnot properly done.
•Do have quality time with your child. This can be a strollin the park, going to theater or watch a movie athome. Both you and your adolescent can do householdchores together, do laundry together, clean the housetogether.Quality time does not matter how many minutes and hourshave you spent time with each other but how each of youhave been smiling and laughing at the available timetogether.There are times when you spent whole day in the houseand yet the whole time you are there your continuouslynagging and making your adolescent wish you leave.
•Do go to church, share the spiritual respect and pray withyour adolescent. This is the most powerful tool that eachparent should know about parenting adolescent. Buildingthat spiritual strength with your adolescent is imperativesince it is the aspect that serves as a guiding principle toevery mans journey.When you are successful in bringing your child to churchwithout a hint of refusal from them, when you see your childvolunteering for a part in the school and in the communityand if you see the smile when he is doing it, consider yourselfsuccessful in Parenting Adolescent 101.
•Do not reprimand your adolescent in front of thekid. Unfortunately, there are parents who do this and do it withso much gusto. There are even parents who willfully hit theiradolescent in the public.In some countries, this is tolerable but should not be a parentsresort as this will have a negative impact to your childs well-being.If your child has done something wrong or fails at school, do nottreat him as if he is the worst prisoner in the world.
•Do not take his wrongdoings for granted. Talk to youradolescent if he has done something wrong. He may havedone that against his will or due to peer pressure only or hemay have done that to get your attention. In any case, do not blame him for his mistakes. It takes twoto tango even with parenting adolescent.
•Do not ever use this phrase, "When I was at yourage…" especially if you are reprimanding him. Thiswill only make him feel rebellious.You are making a comparison which leads to themost important thing to avoid,
•DO NOT EVER COMPARE your adolescent. Each individual isunique from each other. If you compare your teens to his orher siblings or to any adolescents in the neighborhood or inthe school, your teen will have the impression that you haveregrets having him as your child.They will feel so bad about it that they will instead rebel andworst hate you for doing it.
As a parent, one thing you should know is this. Your child isthe exact replica of your personality. How you treat them,care for them and deal with them is seen on how they willdeal with the people surrounding them. If they always nag, have the feeling that the world is againstthem and they are so negative in almost anything, chances arethat is how you deal with your adolescent. That alone makesyou less of a parent.On the other hand, if your child is optimistic and genuinelyfeels happy being with others, is not afraid to accept hismistakes and always have the courage to carry on with things,well then, congratulations, you have been able to handleparenting adolescent perfectly.
Adolescent Depression: What you can doabout itAdolescent depression is a behavioral disorder that occursmostly in the teenage years, between the ages of 13 - 19years old. This is can be prolong until the early twentiesdepending on the mental development of the child.The disorder may include persistent sadness, discouragement,low self-esteem, lack of confidence, lack of interests in anyactivities, insecurities and self-doubt. If left unnoticed itcould lead to major depression which can be very fatal to theadolescent.
Causes and risk factorsThere are a lot of reasons why anadolescent suffers depression. You maywonder why a child whom you think has allthe luxuries in the world can still bedepressed. Common causes of this are asfollows:
1.The normal process of maturation - this plays a great role in thelife of a teen. Physically, a teenager has transformations thatshe/he may not have prepared for it. For boys, physical changesinclude hoarse and deep voice, Adams apple is visible, increase ofheight, mustache are thicker, hair growing in the private parts andarmpit hairs. For girls, it is more profound and obvious.Menarche, growth of breasts, hips is more defined, hairs in theprivate parts and armpit hair. Even if this maturity stage isnormal, if kids are left unguided through this stage, they feelscared, ashamed and confused what to do. They will be thecenter of tease in the group and when they go home with no oneto speak all the confusions to, depression comes in.
2. Conflicts with parents and/or Significant Others - Adolescentsare very independent. They want to do things on their own. Asmuch as possible, they do not want their parents getting on theirway. But, of course, parents normally interfere especially if thechild is no longer in his right tracks.Conflicts and arguments arise and the teen ager may feel that heis not loved. This can also happen if the parents do not havemuch time for their kids. They would feel unloved and when theyare going to be reprimanded for doing something to get yourattention, they would feel really bad about that.
3.Sibling Rivalry - This happens if in the family, favoritism isvery significant. Usually it is the child with lesserachievements, lesser beauty, less talented and less appreciatedthat suffers the depression.Unfortunately, there are parents whose favoritism is greatlyshown in their dealings with their kids. The worst part is thatparents would compare sibling A with sibling B. This has agreat impact to the childs feelings. Aside from depression, thechild will also feel hatred to the parents and to the othersiblings.
4.Death, loneliness and fear - It can also be a disturbinghappenstance such as an untimely death of a friend or someoneclose to the child and no one is there to comfort the child.Feelings of loneliness and fears would haunt the child. If a childin your house is undergoing a sudden loss like this, it isimperative that you are there to give the comfort.Break up of a relationship even if adults consider it as "puppylove" plays a major role in the behavior of a child. If there is noproper explanation and the child has no one to talk to, it canlead to serious depression and even untimely suicide.
5.Failures at school - this does not mean the gradesonly. If the child is not accepted by the adolescents atschool, confusion comes in.If there is no one for her at home, she would confine inher own world and will feel so depress about it.
Adolescents who have low self-esteem, highly criticaland who are very pessimist are most likely to feeldepressed when a negative situation is thrown at himor her. They get so emotional stress and adolescentdepression sets in.
Risk factors•Child abuse - physically, mentally and sexually•Severe and unusual medical conditions•History of depression in the family•Shyness, timidity and aloofness•Lack of appreciation
What you can do about itSo, you notice one day that your adolescent is acting strange. Thisbecomes worse so you consult a child psychologist only to be toldthat your adolescent has adolescent depression. Instead of askingyourself why, ask yourself what you can do to help your child copeup the depression.You can consider undergoing therapy sessions with your child withhis psychotherapist. However, if you are financially strained, whatyou can do is to spend more quality time with your child. You canask a home remedy programs from a psychologist or even checkout information from the web and also books in the bookstore. But, the most effective cure for adolescent depression isLOVE. You have to let them feel they are loved and that they areimportant even if they fail at school or in any undertakings theyare going through.
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