Teen friends playing TV games

Teenagers: They’re complex creatures. You couldn’t pay most of us to relive our teenage years — and probably with good reason. I bet if you thought back to your experience as a teen, you would get sucked into a vortex of emotions spanning the gamut. The years between 12 and 18 are when we do most of our growing hormonally, emotionally, physically and mentally. The expectations society puts on teenagers today are exponentially higher than when we were kids. Our kids think they have to be the best at everything — academics, sports, activities, relationships, etc. — and if they fail, bad things will happen to them.

Instead of pressuring our kids to excel in everything they do, we should be considering who our children are as individuals. We should be encouraging their academics while also enriching them with life experience. No two children are alike. Invest in each child individually, because they don’t all fit into the same box. You see, I have a teenager, and I’m a life coach who spends a lot of time working with parents to help navigate their relationships with their teens.

The teenage years are the ones where our kids are most likely going to start to retreat. They select the information they want to share with us. They get lost in technology rather than spending time interacting with humans. Depression and mental illness are being diagnosed earlier than ever. As adults and parents, we must be educated and aware of it if we want to address it in a productive and positive way. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and I’ve found some interesting and alarming information.

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