When a child steps into teenage years, parents are more alarmed and fearful of the things that will happen to them. It seems that teenagers, violence, and forming disastrous relationships with others are all being dreaded by everyone. How come? Can we protect our children from this occurrence?
The crucial years of forming alliances and enemies are more focused on the teenage years. Erik Erickson has explained this dictum in his psycho-social theory of development wherein adolescents’ primary developmental task is forming a relationship, finding meaning to oneself, peer approval and social acceptance. Unable to do so can result in confusion of roles and identity crisis which can lead to activities such as rebellion and violence, depression and other mental health issues. BetterHelp.com provides information on teenage problems as well as support and guidance to handle these problems.
The numbers tell all
From the 2016 report of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, statistics on teenage violence revealed the following findings:
- Homicide is 3rd leading cause of death among 10 to 24 years old;
- 22.6% reported being in physical altercation with males more commonly involved than females;
- During the period of 2012-2013 alone, 31 deaths of school-age youths from 5 to 18 years old occurred in school.
It is indeed very alarming that at the very young age, teenagers are involved in gangs, drug-related problems, and can eventually suffer severe physical injuries and even death.
It’s no surprise that when teenagers are linked to violence or any other negative issues, the first thing that will be questioned is the family dynamics. Are the parents separated, with a history of drug abuse in the family, records of child abuse and neglect? Other factors could be that teenagers are always curious and want to experience on their own what it’s like to be an adult and do things like them. Peer pressure, bullying, and the demands of social media are also attributed to the rising problem of teenage violence.
What should parents do?
The best advice that every parent should follow is to remember their own teenage years and the lessons it has brought them. As the old saying goes, the experience is the best teacher. In addition, it is also important to consider the present environment that your teenagers are currently in. Do not compare your generation to the present. Surely, there is a big difference when it comes to all aspects of living. Be sure to be in the loop on whatever they are interested with. This way you will have enough information whether it is to their advantage or it could result in negative outcomes. Befriend your teenagers and at the same time set limits as a parent. Respect their need for privacy but always on the lookout for signs of negative behaviors. Lastly, being there when they are in dire need, physically or emotionally is also very crucial as this will reflect that you love and care for them.