With all the challenges that teenage boys have to face these days, there may never have been a harder time to navigate the adolescent years. Each new generation adds a few more stumbling blocks on the path to successful adulthood and teens need the support of their parents more than ever. Knowing what kind of things your son may be dealing with on a daily basis can help you make sure that he is making good decisions and effectively circumventing issues that can cause long term problems.
Bullying – Bullying has taken on a new face in recent years. While it used to be something that occurred when the victim was physically present, it has now become pervasive in the online culture. In a world where most teens have a phone, they may be subject to their tormenters 24 hours a day. Make sure you are aware of what is outgoing and incoming to your teen’s phone and on their social media pages. Whether your child is the bully or the bullied, he needs intervention from you.
Substance Abuse – While experimenting with alcohol and drugs has been a fixture of adolescent life for many years, teens are always learning new ways to keep their substance abuse from their parents. From vodka soaked gummy bears to products like powdered alcohol, it may feel like a full time job to keep on top of things to watch for. Doing regular research on new substance abuse trends can help you ensure that your teen remains safe. Studies have also shown that teens whose parents talk to them regularly about drugs and alcohol are more likely to abstain.
Pornography – Pornography is more accessible than ever these days with the increase in technology and fact that the internet is so prevalent in everyday lives. Your son can be exposed to explicit material even without trying. Putting parental blocks on your teen’s phone and computer can go a long way toward filtering the material that he should avoid. It is also a good idea to regularly check his activity since social media sites can be an ideal place for sending and receiving inappropriate pictures. Regular pornography exposure during the formative adolescent years can actually lead to major emotional and relationship problems down the road. Help him regulate his behavior while he is exploring his boundaries.
Self Esteem – Low self-esteem is often the culprit behind bad decisions. Helping your teen develop healthy confidence in his strengths and learn how to manage his weaknesses will help him navigate difficult times and avoid succumbing to negative peer-pressure. In addition to supporting and encouraging him in his activities and hobbies, it can also be helpful to work with him on what his reaction should be in different scenarios. Knowing how he is going to react when faced with a dilemma can relieve some of the pressure.
SundanceCanyon Academy is a residential treatment center located in northern Utah. We specialize in helping troubled boys identify their issues and overcome them from the inside out through a unique relationship based therapy method. For questions about our program, or a consultation, please contact us at 1-866-2425.