While it is completely normal to experience angst during the teen years, the stresses of being a teenager should never prevent your child–or your family–from flourishing. The teen years are all about self-discovery and testing boundaries in order to shape identity. This can put a real strain on even the healthiest family relationships. If your teen is struggling and you are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges at home, we encourage you to seek help.
Christian counseling is a wonderful opportunity for your teenager to ask serious questions, develop healthy habits, and discover strengths and weaknesses. A Christian counselor can provide a safe, non-judgmental ear and compassionate, balanced perspective to help your teenager process the challenges of growing into early adulthood. A Christian counselor can also help your teen learn to build healthy peer relationships while modeling positive interpersonal skills in the client-counselor relationship. Ultimately, Christian counseling for teens provides support for teens and their families as they try to navigate these difficult years.
Being a teenager has never been easy–and the personal, academic, and social demands facing today’s teens are perhaps greater than ever before. Some of the issues teenagers wrestle with haven’t really changed: peer pressure, sex and relationships, and academic burdens have always been, and continue to be, among most teenagers’ main preoccupations. But many of these concerns are more acute than ever, and with the rise of eating disorders, gun violence, substance abuse, and cyber bullying, it’s no wonder today’s teens are stressed.
Your teen may be reluctant to talk to you about the problems he or she is facing. While this can make it difficult to discern what is a real concern and what is normal teenage behavior, there are ways to tell the difference. Common warning signs include a sudden change in social behavior, extreme shifts in mood, increase or decrease in appetite, and poor academic performance. But this is not a comprehensive list of warning signs.
For any parent, raising a child is a lot of work. You have to feed them, clothe them, get them to school, keep them occupied when they get home from school. The list of responsibilities goes on! Amidst all this, like any good parent, you are trying to help them become good, upstanding members of society.
However, at times it seems a sisyphean task to help your kids understand the “whys” and consequences of their actions. As such, we set boundaries, rules, and limits that help to guide children in the way they should act. By they time they are grown and leaving for college, though, most of those rules begin to be shed. How do we get to this point of having responsible, moral children who become responsible, moral adults?
All children go through a developmental process. We can think of the obvious physical development, such as learning to walk, talk, grow, etc. Another realm is their cognitive development, such as the acquisition of words in their vocabulary and their ability to learn new and abstract concepts.
Another element of their psychology would be their moral development. Just as they begin to understand how letters form words and numbers can create math problems, so must they begin to understand that rules and morality exist and they also exist to serve a purpose.
Before diving into moral development, let’s look more broadly at a theory of psychological development created by psychologist Jean Piaget. He postulated that there...Read More
It’s that time of year again – school is out for summer, and you’re wondering how to keep your teenager busy so that they do not spend all of their free time glued to their devices. Thankfully, there is an abundance of group activities for teens that they can participate in!
Learning to invest in the lives and welfare of others, is one of the best uses of time for anyone but especially for a teenager.
Teens can get so caught up in the drama of social circles, striving for perfection in grades, zoning in on things that they are lacking in life, etc. that it provides a really nice reset to those concerns when they devote some time to serving those who are less fortunate.
Is your teen an animal lover? A great way to feel a sense of purpose and contribution to a greater need than themselves is by signing up to volunteer and help out at a local animal shelter. Your local Humane Society will point you in the direction of where to go and how to help:
The American Red Cross has an entire youth section called the Junior Red Cross. Through this organization, teens can organize a blood drive, become educated and ready for disaster relief, or train younger children in home safety.
Think your teen might love it and want to continue helping throughout the year? The...Read More
The scope of this article focuses on addiction to substances and rehab for teens.
One of the most difficult things to process as a parent is how little control we end up having over the well-being of our children as they get older. If we do our job well, they go from needing us absolutely (as infants) to not needing us at all (as adults).
That doesn’t mean we don’t have a relationship with them, it just means in most circumstances we go from being completely responsible for them to having little or no responsibility for them at all. For many parents, this is a painful transition. By the time they are in their teens, most children are beginning to flex their independence, looking for more freedom and autonomy.
When the choices they make involve addictive behaviors, life can get complicated very fast, made more so by their need to be free to make their own choices.
Helping an adolescent child get clean and sober can lead us through emotional war zones we never anticipated, and the key in the midst of it is to stand firm in our convictions while maintaining as compassionate a stance as we can muster toward our child. This is a challenge under the best of circumstances, and a solid sense of what needs to happen whether they go along with it or not is necessary to chart a course through these difficult waters.
There is a frightening array of...Read More