Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Emotional Survival Guide for Teens: Part II

This post is written for teens. If you are a teen, this is for you. If you know a teenager, pass it along.
This month, we will explore the second part of this series of the hardest things about being a teen and ways to make it easier on yourself. We will talk about why life is such an emotional challenge at times, and what you can do to make it less stressful. With the strategies we’ll be talking about, you may even enjoy your teen years.
The remaining four strategies can help you survive your teen years. Here I pick up where I left off last month:
10.  Create your own private place. As you grow older, you have a greater need for a private place that is all your own. You need it as a place to escape to, but also as a place where you can create your own life. At the end of adolescence, you will be an adult, ready to go out into the world. You will need to be ready to stand on your own, as an independent and responsible person. It helps if you have some things you can call your own, such as:

a.         A private space
b.         A place to play music
c.         A place to study and read
d.         A place to write down your thoughts and feelings, such as a private journal
e.         Places to meet friends
f.          Your own money
g.         Your own possessions
11.  Make a few good friends. Making new friends takes some effort. Some people seem to make friends quite easily, while others find it difficult. It’s mostly a matter of learning a few skills. See if you can develop behaviors like these:
a.         Smile; appear friendly.
b.         Say “Hi.”
c.         Ask questions.
d.         Give compliments.
e.         Join groups.
f.          Ask for information. (“Where did you get your jacket?”)
g.         Be interested.
12.  Find someone you can talk to. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, adolescence can be a highly emotional time. You are learning new things every day and you are not always ready to meet the demands of social situations. It’s very important to have someone you can talk to during this time. Different people can help you with different kinds of problems. The important thing is that when you start to feel stressed, it means you probably need to let it out. Look for help from people like these:
a.         Parents
b.         Siblings
c.         Relatives
d.         Minister or rabbi
e.         Doctors
f.          Psychotherapists
g.         Police officers
h.         Teachers
i.          Guidance counselor
j.          Your friends
k.         Friends’ parents
l.          Neighbors
13.  Learn teamwork skills. Being a part of a team is an important skill, and it will become even more important when you are an adult. Teamwork skills include things like these:
a.         Cooperating
b.         Making decisions
c.         Being loyal
d.         Encouraging others
e.         Planning
f.          Problem solving
g.         Supporting
h.         Trusting

Voila!....the secret thirteen ways of surviving your tumultuous teenage years! Really, some of this is good for parents to read to be aware of how to help their children transition through those ego developing years. These are just a sampling of ideas that can be applied. These thirteen ideas are not new and they are not just from me. They are a culmination of ideas and suggestions from the internet, previous clients, and personal experiences of being a teenager myself! They are common ways that can be easily applied to helping your teenager work to find themselves and become authentic in their search for identity.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Trey

Suggested Reading

Kelly, Kate, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Parenting a Teenager. New York: Alpha Books, 1996.
Law, Felicia, and Parker, Josephine, editors. Growing Up: A Young Person’s Guide to Adolescence. Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK: Merlion Publishing, Ltd., 1993.
McCoy, Kathy, and Wibbelsman, Charles, The New Teenage Body Book. New York: Putnam, 1992.

No comments:

Post a Comment