A Teen Mystery!

We're not talking Scooby and pals in the Mystery Machine!

   Today's teens live in a much different world than their parents or grandparents. They often communicate with electronic devices, which provide them little outlet to express feelings and seek compassion and understanding.

   They lack the close bonds of a stable community. They also lack innocence, largely due to media and the internet.

   Today's teens have much different attitudes about sex and life's meaning. Many are unmotivated, mostly due to a lack of clarity on life's path. They don't speak very often and leave themselves cut off from other generations, which causes them to be a true mystery.

   This is especially true for young men, as the school society has elevated girls and left them feeling secondary in level of concern. This has caused depression and anxiety. When the anxiety manifests as lack of focus or acting out, the first tendency of many health providers is to assume ADHD and this is often not correct.

 

   Today's teens need you to meet them in their world. Its the only world they know, so don't be scolding about their isolation and mysterious ways. They are not you. These are different times and more challenging times.

   Consider getting involved in their world. Instead of complaining to them about video games, play the games with them and engage. In the course of being involved, you may find openings to talk about other topics or interest them in other areas, such as playing second base, compared to playing a fantasy figure in some virtual world.

   Get the teen to become involved in community activities and charity work. Many teens feel adrift and wonder about their value. When they feel they have no value, negative things happen. It is difficult to be depressed when you are helping others. Living in a shell of isolation is not only depressing for a teen--but downright dangerous.

© 2019, The Matthew Project, Inc., Hartford Counseling and Life Span Family Services