It can be difficult and sometimes scary for a parent to think about some of teens’ daily risks and troubles. But the truth is, teens growing up in Texas are dealing with all kinds of pressures and temptations, and not all are avoiding those dangers.
The risks teens face today can range from relatively minor issues up to juvenile crimes and serious acts that create long-term consequences. As a parent, it’s essential to understand what the landscape is like.
Dangers for teens
One of the biggest changes in our society over the past few decades has been a broader reckoning with the importance of mental health. That’s not to say people didn’t struggle with mental health challenges before, but today the subject is less taboo.
Teens are some of the most at-risk for mental health struggles, ranging from anxiety to depression to certain disorders like eating disorders or addictive behaviors.
This can lead to delinquent behavior and even suicide attempts.
In addition, some of the old risks remain, like teen pregnancy and criminal behavior.
How to help your teen
As a parent, you can’t completely shelter your teen. After all, growing up means learning to navigate the world independently. But you still can do a tremendous amount to protect your teen and give them a foundation to avoid certain dangerous behaviors.
One of the simplest but most effective ways is to create an open and ongoing dialogue with your teen. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
The key to creating an environment where your teen feels comfortable sharing and confiding is avoiding the temptation to come across as judging or interrogating. If you want your teen to feel comfortable talking to you, engage them in a neutral and supportive manner.
Teens face many risks and troubles, and it’s easy for them to succumb and find themselves in a dangerous position. As a parent, it’s incumbent on your to create a relationship that helps your teen navigate those risks.