Raising Happy Teens

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Our Teens deserve to Mature knowing they are Unique, Precious and that their Lives Matter

Adolescence is a time of major growth and change and is a significant period in your child’s life. As a parent, knowledge of this developmental stage can provide you with an understanding of what to expect during the teenage years. This important stage of development requires positive caring adults to support teenagers as they attend to certain tasks, and begin their transition to adulthood.

Developmental changes that occur during this time will also impact on how your child communicates with you, and how they to begin to view and develop relationships in general. Keep in mind that your child’s self-esteem may drop as they begin adolescence. You can help at this time by making sure that they understand and are prepared for the changes their body and mind are going through.

Teenagers experience developmental changes in the following areas:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Cognitive
  • Social and Psychological

Protective factors that enhance adolescent development include strong family support and love, positive family communication, a caring school environment, opportunities to provide service to others, clear family and school rules and consequences, positive adult non-parent relationships, learning life skills and providing decision making opportunities, constructive peer relationships and support and encouragement from parents and teachers to do well at school.    

 Due to the many changes teens undergo even the most well prepared adolescent can sometimes feel overwhelmed and alone. Approximately one in five young people will experience depression and girls report higher rates of depression than boys (Beyondblue, 2007).

Feeling depressed is not the same as feeling stressed. Symptoms of stress such as tension, frustration, and worry tend to last for only a few hours or a few days. Depression is more severe and lasts longer. Studies reveal that teens who have a close relationship with their parents are less likely to experience long term depression. They are also more likely to discuss problems with their parents. If you have concerns and are unable to communicate with your teen, contact the school counsellor, family doctor, or mental health professionals.

Implementing protective factors into your teen’s life will provide them with safety nets and support them to bounce back from challenging times. They are also a must in the development of positive adolescent mental health.

Marina Bakker

Marina Bakker is Managing Director of Counselling Works and founder of Modern Love Solutions. Marina specialises in Youth and Resilience Development and provides strategies to assist in the development of raising resilient teens, families and communities. She specialises in a range of therapeutic interventions for depression, anxiety, trauma recovery and works from a strength based perspective focussed on promoting internal assets. She works extensively in the area of training development providing a range of Professional and Personal Development workshops; including Developing Young People’s Resilience. Marina has both initial and higher degrees in Social Science, Counselling and Education. She is available for therapy/coaching sessions and is able to present on a range of youth, workplace  and relationship topics. For more information visit: www.counsellingworks.com.au

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