Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risk, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe
By Jess Shatkin
A groundbreaking, research-based guide that sheds new light on why young people make dangerous choices–and offers solutions that work
Texting while driving. Binge-drinking. Unprotected sex. There are plenty of reasons for parents to worry about getting a late-night call about their teen. But most of the advice parents and educators hear about teens is outdated and unscientific–and simply doesn’t work.
Acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist and educator Jess Shatkin brings more than two decades’ worth of research and clinical experience to the subject, along with cutting-edge findings from brain science, evolutionary psychology, game theory, and other disciplines — plus a widely curious mind and the perspective of a concerned dad himself.
Using science and stories, fresh analogies, clinical anecdotes, and research-based observations, Shatkin explains:
* Why “scared straight,” adult logic, and draconian punishment don’t work
* Why the teen brain is “born to be wild”–shaped by evolution to explore and take risks
* The surprising role of brain development, hormones, peer pressure, screen time, and other key factors
* What parents and teachers can do–in everyday interactions, teachable moments, and specially chosen activities and outings–to work with teens’ need for risk, rewards and social acceptance, not against it.
Ways to Help Teenagers Reduce and Manage School Stress
Middle and high school students are under more stress than ever before. The number of U.S. high school students who experience academic pressure increased by 62 percent over seven years even though performance improved only modestly.
The number of students who spend more than 10 hours per week doing homework rose from 12 percent to 21 percent over three years.
Increasing Concerns About Academic Stress
Some schools are experimenting with turning down the heat on students. A few have taken such measures as eliminating advanced placement classes, reducing the emphasis on textbook learning, and administering fewer tests. However, others worry that such measures are too extreme and will hurt a college-bound student’s chance of competing for spots in the nation’s best colleges.
Many schools and parents are focusing, instead, on giving students the tools for coping with the constant demands of school. This might include more counseling, yoga classes, breathing techniques, or designated homework-free days.
Helping Teenagers Cope with School Stress
All of this increased pressure to perform academically can leave young adults feeling hopeless and parents feeling helpless. However, many experts agree that there are definitive steps parents can take to help their teenagers cope. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for instance, stresses teaching children resilience through such methods building confidence, strengthening family connections, and instilling character.
Here are some specific ways in which parents can help teens become more resilient:
Teaching Organization Skills
Perhaps the only thing more stressful for a student than having to complete homework assignments in several subjects is having to complete the work in an environment full of scattered papers and misplaced supplies. The fact that a child needs special knowledge for advanced mathematics is widely known, but both parents and students often take organization skills for granted.
Just like calculus, the organization is something that has to be learned. Children should be taught as early as elementary school to keep their workspaces and backpacks well-stocked and orderly. However, it is not too late for even the most disorganized teen to learn the basics of organization.
Parents who have not mastered this themselves may face the added challenge of learning along with their teens. Depending on the situation, a teen may need guidance in one or more of the following: removing excess clutter, arranging a desk into a workable space, storing supplies, sorting school papers into folders, or writing organized notes. Some great organization tips can be found in the book Organizing from the Inside Out for Teenagers.
Teaching Time Management Skills
Time Management skills are a subset of organization skills. However, since time is less tangible than papers in a folder, its management can be a little harder to grasp.
Teen stress due to over-scheduling has often been the subject of discussion in parent circles, but the lack of scheduling can sometimes be a source of even greater pressures. Having multiple assignments, projects, and tests in the works with no study plan can lead to several major stressors, including cramming, late assignments, and poor performance.
Parents can help teens to develop the habit of keeping track of all assignments on a calendar, school planner, chart, or computer. They can also stress the importance of making a checklist of tasks to be completed and demonstrate how to quickly prioritize responsibilities.
Showing teens how to form a schedule for long-term projects or daily study plans for tests can prevent work from piling up and leading to stressful late-night cram sessions. In his book Fighting Invisible Tigers: Stress Management for Teens, psychologist Earl Hipp states that learning to set aside time for relaxation is also an important time management skill.
Teaching Relaxation Techniques
The ability to rest seems like something that should be second nature, but many people in today’s busy world simply do not know how to do it. Teaching teens simple breathing or meditation techniques can go a long way to help relieve tense muscles or calm nerves before an oral presentation. Some numerous books and videos describe such simple techniques. Parents can also advise their teens to enroll in a yoga class.
Offering as Much Support as Possible
Comprehensive way parents can help their middle or high school students to relieve stress is to simply offer their full and unwavering support. Understandably, parents want their children to learn independence, but this can be a gradual process as their children build knowledge and self-confidence.
A parent should continue to provide tutoring and emotional support as well as being actively involved in her child’s education well into the adolescent years. Even something as simple as helping a teenager with a regular household chore during final exams can reduce stress.
About the author: Diane H. Wong is a family coach. Besides, she is a research paper writerDoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.
If you feel you have exhausted your local resources and your teenager is experiencing extreme levels of stress, anxiety or depression – you may want to consider residential therapy. Contact us to learn more about residential treatment.
Although teens need parents to express love with all five love languages, a
teenage child usually has a primary love language they prefer.
What is a Love Language?
The idea of “love languages” – the way that people “speak” or “express”
love to others and how they prefer love to be expressed to them. People need all
five love languages, but that everyone has preferences about the love languages
they like the most.
The love languages are divided into five basic categories:
● Words of Affirmation
● Quality Time
● Acts of Service
● Receiving Gifts
● Physical Touch
How to Discover the Love Language of a Teenage Child
Parents of teens who pinned their child’s primary love languages when the
child was younger will be happy to know that the love languages stay fairly
constant. Although the love language is still the same, parents may need to “speak
the language” slightly differently during the teen years.
For parents of teens who have not yet determined their child’s love
language, there are several ways to discover the primary love language of a
teenage child. Some websites offer free online quizzes for teenagers. Parents can
send a teenage child an e-mail with a link to a quiz that will reveal a teen’s
preferences for receiving love.
Parents can also casually observe a teen notice how a teen expresses love.
People often express love in a way they like to receive love. So if a teenager often
gives compliments to others or appreciates others with words, it’s a good clue that
the teen values words of affirmation as a preferred love language.
Examples of Applying the Love Languages for Parents
Due to developmental changes in teens, parents may find that what worked
to express love to their child before the teen years may not work as well once their
children become adolescents. Parents may need to change their expression of the
love language of physical touch.
Although a child may have enjoyed and accepted hugs and kisses before
adolescence, teens may more appreciate high fives, elbows, and roughhousing.
Parents of teens can use the ideas below to better understand the expressions
of love that fit into the categories of the love languages, but parents should also
remember that teens are individuals and should take note of personal preferences
by their own children.
● Words of Affirmation – “Thanks for mowing the grass.”, “Did you
know I love you no matter what?”, “I notice you’ve been working hard on that
school project”. Teens who appreciate words of affirmation usually like cards, e-
mails, or even a simple sticky note tucked in a backpack or planted in a bathroom
● Quality Time – Parents can set up a certain time each week to spend quality time with a teenage child. Parents can also plop next to a teen who’s
watching television alone and simply “hang out” or be there. Family meals
or cooking dinner together are another way to spend quality time with a teen
throughout the week.
● Acts of Service – A teenager who receives love through acts of service
will appreciate even the smallest of tasks. Even if a teen never makes her bed, it
will most likely be noticed and appreciated if a parent makes the bed for the teen.
Other small acts of service include serving a teen a simple breakfast in bed once a
month on a school day, assisting a bit when a teen cleans her room, washing a
teen’s car every once in a while.
● Receiving Gifts – Gifts should be personal and reflect a teen’s
interests and needs. Extreme gifts aren’t necessary. Gifts can be small and
sometimes hand-made including an iTunes gift card for $5, a hand-made
personalized bookmark, a box of homemade favorite cookies, a photograph of a
● Physical Touch – Although some teens do still enjoy hugs and kisses
from parents, others don’t feel comfortable with such affection from parents. A pat
on the back, a touch on the shoulder, or a soft pat to the face may be more accepted
by teens. Games such as arm wrestling or a playful game of rough basketball are
other ideas for giving teens physical touch.
Parents of teens should also note that although a teenage child will have his
favorite love languages, teens still need a little of all of the love languages. Parents
should try to fit in a little bit of physical touch, acts of service, words of
affirmation, gifts, and quality time with teen daughters and sons on a routine
About the author: John J. Gregg is an experienced essay writer
where he provides students with an opportunity to get high grades.
Besides, He is fond of reading and playing the guitar. By the way, John dreams of
traveling a lot and visiting as many countries as possible.
There is a rough idea that managing and understanding emotions increase the human chances of success. So here are some of the science of emotional intelligence.
Thinking about feelings
Emotional intelligence starts with social and self-awareness, which is roughly the ability to recognize human emotions in oneself and others. Awareness begins with reflection, which leads to someone asking themselves about their emotional strengths and weaknesses.
For example, medical students use nursing assignment help to find their weaknesses when performing emotional resilience tasks. People also go a long way into asking how their mood affects their decision-making and thoughts. Having questions like those may generate valuable insights that can get utilized to someone’s advantage.
It entails taking a moment to halt, and I think well before speaking or acting. The deed can assist you from embarrassing yourself or giving out comments quickly. It, therefore, helps you not to make a permanent decision while you have a temporary emotion.
Striving to control thoughts
A slight moment may not give you enough room to control your emotions, but you can control how you react to such feelings, and that can get done by focusing only on your thoughts. If you strive to maintain your thoughts, you can resist being coming to a Messenger or a slave to your feelings and emotions, and that can allow you to live in harmony with yourself along with your values and goals.
Benefiting from criticism
There is no single person that enjoys getting negative feedback. But, on the other hand, criticism is a Golden chance for learning even if you don’t get it in the best way possible. It will also allow you to see how others think. So, instead of feeling bad when you get negative feedback, hold your emotions and ask yourself how you can make it better.
To be authentic does not mean that you share everything concerning yourself with everyone. It means speaking out what you mean and telling whatever you say while sticking to your principles and values above anything else. Not everyone will come around to accept or appreciate your thoughts or feelings, but the people who matter will do it.
Showing empathy includes understanding the feelings and thoughts of other people and understanding that can help find more that you have a deeper connection with other people. Instead of labeling and judging other people, you will work hard to see how they view things through their eyes. Of course, to be empathetic does not mean that you agree with other people’s points of view or perception. Still, understanding how they see things allows you to be more connected and build stronger relationships.
All human beings are grateful for appreciation and acknowledgment. When you praise other people, you will satisfy their craving, and in the process, you will find yourself building trust. It all begins with focusing on the good that you see in others. Afterward, if you share what you appreciate in them, you’ll inspire them to become the best version that they can be.
Giving positive feedback
When you give negative feedback to people, they will get their feelings hurt and after you realize this, try reframing criticism as a constructive type of feedback so that the recipient can see it as a helpful thought instead of a harmful one.
The myths of teen boot camps and scared straight programs for troubled and defiant teens
Years ago parents would threaten to send their children, especially defiant and belligerent teens to military school or boot camp.
Then some sheriff’s departments developed Scared Straight programs through their jails.
Inmates would speak to the youth about their experiences, both inside and on the outside, hopefully giving them enough of a jolt to realize they don’t want to be in their shoes.
If you are interested in scared straight programs, sometimes they can be effective with certain teenagers. Check with your local sheriff’s department to see if they offer them. They are becoming more and more scarce – likely because they are non-effective.
In regards to military schools, parents are making false threats since they will be quick to learn that these type of boarding schools are typically a privilege and honor to attend.
Your child will need a good GPA to be accepted as well as be willing to attend. Not to mention, if they are struggling with any type of experimentation of substance use, military campuses are not immune to students bringing in drugs or alcohol.
They will be reprimanded, and like a traditional school – will be expelled within their school policy. However, you will forfeit your tuition with that that typically starts at $25,000.
Boot camps are what parents think about initially. They believe it’s a quick way to teach their teen a lesson – which typically can backfire on them.
They are very difficult to locate at this point. With a lot of negative press as well as very poor results, most have been closed and no longer in operation.
Boot camps were usually a weekend where teens were placed in a military-style environment with rigorous physical exercise in an effort to break your child down.
It is an in-your-face type of discipline that isn’t resolving any of their emotional issues that is causing their negative behavior at home or school.
Many of these teens are already broken – emotionally. They are usually depressed and struggle with low self-esteem, placing them in an environment that only degrades them will likely build more anger and resentment – especially towards the people that put them there – the parents.
We challenge parents to switch places. If you are going through a rough time in your life, whether it be a divorce or a friend that is not treating you well, how would you feel if no one was speaking with you and you had people screaming at you constantly and degrading you as you are struggling just to get by?
Healthy Teen Help Choices
Art therapy helps inspire teens.
Residential therapy, which includes emotional growth programs helps your teen work through their issues. Having conversations with counselors, peers and also participating in activities that can help build their confidence to make better choices is what can help start the recovery process.
Before you think your child needs a good punishment, think about what it will really achieve?
Being a teenager today is not easy.Being a parent is even more of a challenge today – we all have to do our best to make it work and give our kids the best future. Choosing the primitive and punitive road usually isn’t the best decision.
Do you have questions or want to learn more about quality residential therapy? Concerned about how to pay for it? Schools and programs offer financial options that parents have considered.
Contact us today to learn more about teen help programs.
Bipolar disorder seems to be a popular discussion in our society today. It has replaced (though we still discuss) ADD/ADHD/ODD and conduct disorder, now we are hearing more teens being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder and how do you know if your teenager is struggling with it?
Bipolar disorder is characterized by dramatic or unusual mood swings between major depression and extreme elation, or mania. The mood swings can be mild or extreme. They can come on slowly or quickly, within hours to days. Bipolar disorder usually starts between 15 and 30 years of age. It’s more prevalent in those teens who have a family history of the mood disorder.
There are two subtypes of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II
With bipolar I, the teenager alternates between extreme states of depression and intense mania. With the mania, the teen might be abnormally happy, energetic, and very talkative, with no need for sleep for days. He or she might also have hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, and/or paranoid rage, all of which might require hospitalization and medications. Once bipolar I begins, it typically persists throughout the person’s life.
With bipolar II, the teen has depression but a lesser form of elation called “hypomania.” While someone with either mania or hypomania may have grandiose mood and reduced need for sleep, hypomania is a period of incredible energy, charm, and productivity. It’s often associated with high achievers.
While many teens can be irritable with or without bipolar disorder, the irritability that comes with mania or hypomania may be more hostile. Some believe there is a link between ADHD and bipolar disorder. Some 57% of teens who have adolescent-onset bipolar disorder also have ADHD.
What causes bipolar disorder?
Scientists don’t know the exact cause of bipolar disorder. Still, many experts believe that of all psychiatric disorders, bipolar is the most closely linked to genetics. For example, if your parent has bipolar disorder, you are about nine times more likely to get the condition than other teens.
Biochemical and environmental factors play a role in bipolar disorder, too. In fact, researchers think that imbalances in neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that regulate moods) increase the chance of bipolar disorder.
What are some symptoms teens may experience?
Symptoms of bipolar disorder include mania (highs), hypomania (mild highs), and depression (lows). Feeling manic or hypomanic is not the same as having super-energy and being very outgoing or highly productive one weekend. Likewise, depression is not a temporary bad mood that happens when you don’t have a date for the school dance.
The mood episodes with bipolar disorder are intense, and noticeable by friends and family. A teen with mania might be hyper-excited, silly, and have laughing fits in class that are inappropriate. In some teens, mania’s grandiosity may cause problems with defiance, as the teen refuses to comply with any authority at home or at school.
Symptoms of mania include:
Racing speech and thoughts.
Decreased need for sleep.
Elevated mood and exaggerated optimism.
Increased physical and mental activity.
Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior, and impatience.
Hypersexuality, increased sexual thoughts, feeling or behaviors; use of sexual language.
Reckless behavior, like excessive spending, making rash decisions, and erratic driving.
Inflated sense of self-importance.
Symptoms of hypomania include:
Exuberant and elated mood.
Extremely focused on projects at work or at home.
Increased creativity and productivity.
Decreased need for sleep.
Increased energy and libido.
Symptoms of depression include:
Loss of interest in usual activities.
Prolonged sad or irritable mood.
Loss of energy or fatigue.
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
Sleeping too much, inability to sleep, or difficulty falling asleep.
Drop in grades and inability to concentrate.
Inability to experience pleasure.
Loss of appetite or overeating.
Anger, worry, and anxiety.
Thoughts of death or suicide.
How is bipolar disorder treated?
If your doctor determines you have bipolar disorder, he or she may prescribe one or more medications, depending on the type and severity of the symptoms.
Some drugs often used to stabilize mania or hypomania include lithium carbonate, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines. Lithium and lamotrigine (Lamictal) are standard treatments for the depressed phase of bipolar disorder. Doctors are cautious in using antidepressants alone, as they might trigger a manic mood swing.
Psychotherapy can help the patient and family learn more about the illness and how to cope with the mood changes. Because of the relapses and remissions of bipolar disorder, the illness has a high rate of recurrence if untreated.
If you have exhausted your local resources and including therapy, you may want to consider residential therapy. Contact us for more information.
Let’s face it, we all know that raising teens today is not easy and experts all agree, communication is key to having a good relationship.
However sometimes simply talking to a teenager is not so easy. They can be very challenging when they turn us off.
Here are some ideas for ways to get teens talking:
Create a topic jar. A topic jar is a jar that you fill with different pieces of paper containing conversation topics. Each night at dinner a different person gets to choose a slip of paper from the jar and read it aloud. The reader gets to start the conversation. For example, the slip of paper could say, “Tell about something that surprised you today”. Don’t forget to add in topics about digital lives. “Any new apps, websites, videos, virtual friends….” Be as interested in their online lives as you are in their offline ones. Remember, statistics show that kids today spend at least 8 hours a day digitally connected. This includes cell phones and computers.
Ask open-ended questions. By asking questions that cannot be answered with only a yes or no, you are opening the door for your teenager to say more than a couple of words in reply to you. Try to avoid grilling her and stay away from asking questions like, “How was your day?” Her answer will most likely be a one word answer to these type of questions. Instead, say something like, “Tell me about your day.”
Talk about topics she likes. Often teens feel like they are misunderstood by their parents. Instead of trying to get her involved in whatever you want to talk about, try talking about something that you know she likes. If she is an avid tennis player, discussing the French Open is a great way to start a conversation.
Schedule some one on one time with her. Take her out to her favorite restaurant with just the two of you. If that is too expensive, just go for dessert and linger over coffee. Do something that she enjoys, like going to a shopping (even if it is window shopping) or a tennis match. Sharing these moments with her will give her the opportunity to talk to you while you are both relaxed and alone.
Listen more than you speak. Every minute of your time together with her doesn’t have to be filled with idle chit chat. If you are trying to get someone to talk, leaving some silence will give them the opportunity to fill that silence with conversation.
Be patient with your teen. If she is going through a rough time with her boyfriend or her other friends at school it may be difficult for her to talk about. Give her opportunities to broach the subject with you, but don’t try to force her to talk to you. That will only result in her becoming more stubborn and closed off.
Put yourself in her shoes. Teenagers think that their parents and caregivers don’t understand them. Try to resist saying things like, “I understand what you are going through because I was a teenager once too you know”. Every generation has their own obstacles to overcome, and you can’t know what she is going through until she tells you. Really try to imagine how you would feel if you were in her shoes going through what she is going through. Keep in mind, we didn’t have technology or social media to deal with. It is their world today.
Don’t try to fix her. Parents and caregivers often try to fix a situation before they even understand it. Everyone is busy, but make time to hear her out. Don’t jump in and offer advice until it’s asked for. The only thing you should be doing while she is talking is nodding and saying the occasional, “hmm” or “I see” to indicate you are actively listening. This part is very difficult, but she needs to feel heard. Imagine how it would feel if you were sharing one of your problems and the person kept interrupting you to offer advice. Would you enjoy that?
Try to be her soft place to fall, not a road block. Teenagers are faced with a lot of peer pressure. Amazingly enough, teens will come to the right decision most of the time if given the chance. Comfort her if she’s had a fight with a friend or if she breaks up with her boyfriend, but don’t condemn the boyfriend or friend. Anything negative that you say now will come back to haunt you when she gets back together with her boyfriend or the next time that her friend comes over to spend the night.
Only offer your opinion when she asks for it. If you are lucky enough to get your teen talking, don’t interrupt with your opinions. Telling her what you would do isn’t going to help because she will remind you that you and she are nothing alike. Teens are trying to break away and prove their individuality. If she asks for your advice, start by asking her what she has considered so far. This will give you an idea of where her head is and you can act accordingly. Avoid lectures at all costs.
Keep in mind, having conversations before you reach a point of confrontation makes for a happier household. Studies have proven that families that have frequent meals together can reduce risky behavior in teens, it doesn’t have to be every day, but try to have them as often as possible.
If you feel your teen is shutting you out completely and you have exhausted all your resources, seek help from outside sources such as possible a friend or family member they respect. You may have to then reach out to an adolescent therapist.
If you are still struggling, please contact us for information on residential therapy. Sometimes removing them from their environment can help them reflect on what they are having difficulties with.
In reality, net lingo also known as text lingo, is not a secret. Parents can go to several websites including search engines to try to decipher what their teen is saying on their cell phone text messages or social media sites.
Their net-code-language can take time to unravel and you have to be up-to-date with their slang to know what is going on in their lives.
It can be overwhelming to parents, however it is important to keep up with their digital lives.
Frequently used text codes by teens today:
8 – Oral sex
1337 – Elite -or- leet -or- L337
143 – I love you
182 – I hate you
1174 – Nude club
420 – Marijuana
459 – I love you
ADR – Address
AEAP – As Early As Possible
ALAP – As Late As Possible
ASL – Age/Sex/Location
CD9 – Code 9 – it means parents are around
C-P – Sleepy
F2F – Face-to-Face
GNOC – Get Naked On Camera
GYPO – Get Your Pants Off
HAK – Hugs And Kisses
ILU – I Love You
IWSN – I Want Sex Now
J/O – Jerking Off
KOTL – Kiss On The Lips
KFY -or- K4Y – Kiss For You
KPC – Keeping Parents Clueless
LMIRL – Let’s Meet In Real Life
MOOS – Member Of The Opposite Sex
MOSS – Member(s) Of The Same Sex
MorF – Male or Female
MOS – Mom Over Shoulder
MPFB – My Personal F*** Buddy
NALOPKT – Not A Lot Of People Know That
NIFOC – Nude In Front Of The computer
NMU – Not Much, You?
P911 – Parent Alert
PAL – Parents Are Listening
PAW – Parents Are Watching
PIR – Parent In Room
POS – Parent Over Shoulder -or- Piece Of Sh**
pron – porn
Q2C – Quick To Cum
RU/18 – Are You Over 18?
RUMORF – Are You Male OR Female?
RUH – Are You Horny?
S2R – Send To Receive
SorG – Straight or Gay
TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me
WTF – What The F***
WUF – Where You From
WYCM – Will You Call Me?
WYRN – What’s Your Real Name?
ZERG – To gang up on someone
Be an educated parent – you will have safer teens!
“My 18 year old is out of control and I am at my wits end! What can I do?” – Anonymous Parent.
18 and 19 year old teens can be the most difficult to address simply because they are considered adults and cannot be forced to get help.
As parents, we have limited to no control. Practicing “tough love” is easier said than done, many parents cannot let their child reach rock bottom – as parent’s, we see our child suffering – whether it is needing groceries or a roof over their head and it is hard to shut the door on them. In many situations, a young 18 year old is still in high school and you still feel responsible.
I think this is one of the most important reasons that if you are a parent of a 16-17 year old that is out of control, struggling, defiant, using drugs and alcohol, or other negative behavior – it is time to look for intervention NOW.
It may not be a residential therapy but at least start with local resources such as therapists that specialize with adolescents and hopefully offer support groups.
It’s unfortunate that in most cases the local therapy is very limited how it can help your teen. The one hour once a week or even twice, is usually not enough to make permanent changes. In many cases getting your defiant teen to attend sessions can sometimes cause more friction and frustrations than is already happening.
Failure to Launch Young Adult Programs
This might the time to consider outside help such as a Therapeutic Boarding School or Residential Treatment Center. However parents with the 18-19 year olds have usually missed their opportunity. They were hoping and praying that at 16 and 17 things would change, but unfortunately, the negative behavior usually escalates. Don’t get stuck in the blame game – move forward and try to go on to the next steps for young adults.
Failure to launch is an epidemic that affects young adults the world over. Recent studies suggest that over half of young adults 18-29 still live at home with their parents, with a vast majority of these adult children facing failure to launch syndrome.
Since March of 2020 we have seen a spike in teen depression, anxiety, and stress. Remote and online learning is affecting our young people’s mental wellbeing in many ways. The isolation from friends and family as well as the lack of socialization and feelings of loneliness has left many parents feeling helpless.
Failure to launch can also be part of our entitlement generation. It’s simply easier to stay home and allow parents to take care of everything (emotionally and financially).
There are excellent young adult programs that can inspire, encourage and educate your son or daughter.
These programs offer structured support, typically education in accordance to what their needs are (whether they need to get their high school diploma or start college courses), life skills as well as coping skills, mentor-ship, enrichment and wellness programs to help them lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Some offer the therapeutic component as well as ongoing medical care if your child needs this.
Since 2001 I have heard from thousands of parents – most are hoping to get their child through high school and some will be satisfied with a GED. It is truly a sad society of today’s teens when many believe they can simply drop out of school.
Starting as early as 14 years old, many teens are thinking this way and we need to be sure they know the consequences of not getting an education.
Education in today’s world should be our children’s priority (as well as being kind and caring to others) however with today’s peer pressure and entitlement issues, it seems to have drifted from education to defiance (entitlement) – and not being responsible or accountable.
I think there are many parents that debate whether they should take that desperate measure of residential therapy, it’s a major emotional and financial decision – but in the long run – you need to look at these parents that have 18 and 19 year olds that don’t have that opportunity anymore, the choice will become more clear.
While you have this option, and it is a major decision that needs to be handled with the utmost reality of what will happen if things don’t change. The closer they are to 18 – the more serious issues can become legally.
If a 17+ year old gets in trouble with the law, in many states they will be tried as an adult. This can be scary since most of these kids are good kids making very bad choices and don’t deserve to get caught up the system. As a parent I believe it is our responsible not to be selfish and be open to sending the outside of the home.
It is important not to view this as a failure as a parent, but as a responsible parent that is willing to sacrifice your personal feelings to get your child the help they need. Keep in mind – this is a very short part of their life that will give them many years of a healthy one.
There are young adults at that are willing to get help or will attend life skills programs when the parents will give them no other options. Especially if they are facing trouble with the law or homelessness.
If you are interested in young adult programs, please contact us for more information.
It has never been more critical for parents to teach teenagers the value of money and the skill of budgeting. Since the habits, they learn at home are likely to continue into later life, teaching teenagers how to budget is one of the best ways to ensure they turn into financially responsible adults.
1. Encourage them to Track Incomings and Outgoings
Whether your teen is receiving money from an allowance or wages from a job, they must understand where their money goes. Sitting down with a teenager and creating a tailored budget is one of the best ways to help them stay on top of their finances.
This can be done by taking the total amount of their monthly income then noting down what they usually spend their money on. Once these two figures have been appropriately aligned, the next step is to decide a set amount to be saved each month. Having this written down, or noted in a budgeting app such as mint should help a teenager to visualize their spending habits in context. As Bank of America describes, this should help a teen learn that their spending should not exceed their income and if it does, their parents should sit down with them to decide the areas to cut back spending.
2. Teach them about Loans and Credit Cards
Teaching a teenager, the ins and outs of loans and credit cards will ensure they continue to make informed financial decisions as adults. While it is more likely a teen will be considering a student loan rather than, for example, a Cash Lady payday loan, it is essential they know the principles of interest and repayment plans.
3. Show them the Value of Money
For the majority of modern teenagers, social media is likely to take up a good chunk of their day. For the most part, this is only a problem if they have an addiction, but a new phenomenon is arising due to the presence of influencers. As a social medium act as a form of a social group, if the influencers that your child follows live a much more exuberant life, it can alter their perception of the value of money. It’s important to let them know the value of money by teaching them about general running costs and putting brand prices in perspective with the amount of money that one actually needs to spend on living.
4. Emphasize the Importance of Saving
As stated in point 1, a teenager’s budget should be split into two sections, save and spend. It is recommended to aim for about 60/70% spending, and the rest should be saved. Encouraging a teenager to put this into a bank account brings two distinctive benefits. Firstly, it ensures that once the month it is up, they can’t easily access the money if a whim to spend comes their way. Secondly, the money will grow with interest.
For parents whose teenagers struggle to save, try incentivizing them with a specific goal such as a car, since picturing the goal makes dedication much easier.
5. Be Their Role Model
Lastly, it is always worth remembering that the way parents act impacts what their children perceive to be appropriate behavior, so show them the correct way to budget as well as teaching them how to do it on paper.