Surviving Life with a Teenager
Back when we were teens
Twenty-five – thirty years ago, the world was a different place. The internet was in it’s infancy, cellphones were massive & usually installed in your car and satellite dishes were just making their way into homes (or backyards). Kids played outside with their friends and were involved in after-school programs, community groups and sports teams. At home, there were chores to help out around the house. In high school, you had a part-time job with the responsibility of getting there unsupervised. School projects were researched in the library using a very heavy set of Encyclopedia’s and pictures cut out of magazines (cut & paste had a much different definition). If there was a question to be answered, you had to go find an adult. Back in the 80’s or 90’s, life was a little simpler and the world just a little smaller. Our basic needs were met through interpersonal relationships that do not exist today.
Today, with the internet at our finger tips and cable TV, our children have access to information 24/7. Not all the information is helpful or accurate. Today, we have an extreme influx of Teens diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety. Today, we also have a government that feels they are being helpful by making prescriptions free to those under 25 (but we’ll talk about that in a later post).
I recently read an article by Johann Hari “Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?“** Hari talks about his search for answers regarding his own clinical diagnosis and comes across some very interesting points to ponder. The outcome is a new thought process surrounding depression & anxiety – yes there are biological components in some cases that may require medications combined with therapy to over-come, however; there are key factors to how we live today that directly contribute to these diagnosis.
So, let’s compare 1980 to 2018.
In the 80’s, kids played outside. Their friends were physically connected, by streets, school, teams, relations.
Face to face relationships teach us a multitude of skills:
- Interpersonal skills
- Social skills
Physically connecting with people also serves our basic psychological needs of belonging, acceptance and value. We, as humans need to belong to a group. We were not designed to be solitary and thus we live in colonies or families and communities. We need to feel as though we are a valued member of the group; our thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.
It is believed that some diagnosed cases of depression or anxiety are rooted in denying basic psychological needs and thus we have the influx that we are seeing today. There is also growing research that tells us that technology has the same effect on the brain as heroine or cocaine. Creating a strong, debilitating addiction.
If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair, is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – a deep connection, to the things that really matter in life. ~ Johann Hari
If you have a Teen that is struggling, take a look at the broader picture. Are their basic needs being met? Do they have the skills they need to succeed? Do they belong to a group? Do they feel valued?
When one member of the family struggles, the entire family struggles. I have found that the best way to create stability in the family is to look at the family as a whole. Raising children today is difficult, I know that. We are rather quick to point the blame to external forces rather than admit that perhaps we are less than perfect. There are no perfect parents, but I will tell you, the best ones are the parents who are willing to take a look at themselves to find solutions for their children. It’s not about what you’re doing wrong, it’s about finding processes that fit your family, and the needs of every individual in your family.
Getting your family back on track may not be a long, complicated process. We may be able to find solutions and implement processes that will see dramatic results in as little as 6 weeks. Together we will explore the processes that work for your family, and through simple conversation, a few fun & engaging games, we will begin to implement strategies that ensure basic needs are met. We will expand your awareness and allow you to visualize your family’s unlimited possibilities.
Let’s start a conversation.
I’m ready when you are,
Loads of love,