3 Pieces of Advice for Teenagers Transitioning into Adulthood

The transition from teenager to adult can be a challenge. Taking on the extra responsibility that comes with being an adult can be overwhelming for teens who aren't prepared. It can be helpful to provide teens with some basic information on dealing with everyday challenges that are common for adults.

Be Financially Responsible

When some teens and young adults begin getting paychecks of their own, they often make unwise spending decisions. It's important to help them make good choices when it comes to spending their money. Creating a budget that includes all their bills and necessary payments can help teens realize how much money they have left over for spending on those extras that fall into the "want" category. It may be helpful to introduce them to a budgeting app where they can easily put in the amount they have to spend each month and compare it to all their expenses. These technological tools can be extremely helpful to those new to budgeting their finances.

Plan for the Future

One of the most important lessons teens can learn is how to take care of their financial situation for the present and the future. Many young adults don't consider planning for the future to be as important as spending their money in the present. It's important to let teens know that one of the biggest financial mistakes is putting off enrolling in your employer's 401(k) due to the potential money you lose every year. Having a feasible savings plan will help set teens up for future success.

Be Wary of Credit Cards

College students and young adults in general are one of the most targeted groups when it comes to pre-approved credit offers. It's important to provide teens with information on how to build good credit without getting into debt using credit cards. Establishing credit through paying bills on time and possibly having one low-interest credit card that is paid off each month can also help with future finances.

Becoming an adult is a huge deal, the amount of responsibility that comes with it comes suddenly and can be difficult to deal with. Learning to navigate the world of adulthood can overwhelm teens who aren't prepared. By providing them with some basic information on ways to plan for their future and prevent many common financial issues, you help them start out on the right foot. Learning to save, budget, and make responsible spending choices can help teens prepare themselves for a successful financial future.


What Can Parents Do to Help Teens Have a Healthy Relationship with Technology

Technological achievements have helped improve life in so many ways. Personal electronics like smartphones, computers, and internet platforms like email and social media have opened up communication around the world. They have also given people from many different backgrounds access to resources they wouldn't have been able to find in their local regions even a decade ago. Teenagers today have far more access to information, good and bad, than their parents did just a few decades ago.

These technologies have forced teens and their parents to confront many new challenges to their health and safety. A lot of parents struggle to stay up-to-date with ever-changing advancements and obstacles in their children's paths. That said, you can make certain that your teen understands the negative impact that technology can have on their health and life and how inappropriate online behaviors can haunt them into adulthood. To start teaching your teen today, consider following the steps outlined in this short guide.

Discuss Health Risks

Teens are highly susceptible to technology addiction. According to a variety of studies, teens have extreme difficulty putting away their portable devices and stepping away from entertainment systems like TVs and game consoles. They constantly feel a drive to check their text and instant messages and social media accounts and escape reality through games and other avenues. If they stop using these devices, they can feel withdrawal just like an alcohol or drug addict. Non-stop stimulation from so many online sources can also cause attention and focusing problems. In fact, this type of over-stimulation can result in children multi-tasking so much that focusing for any length of time on a single task can cause them to feel irritation, impatience, and anxiety, leading them to lash out.

Light from electronics also disrupts the natural human sleep cycle. The resulting non-restful sleep can cause attention- and mood-related problems. Any type of disruption to a child's health can also cause them to have a poor relationship with food that leads to excessive weight loss or gain. In addition, their relationships can suffer as they pull away from the offline world to exist primarily in the virtual one. Worse yet, a lot of modern technologies contain toxic materials that can damage your child's immune and nervous systems. Also, time spent indoors all of the time can adversely affect their vitamin D absorption and cause cognitive problems.

Print out materials related to all of these health effects and then sit down with your teen and explain how unrestrained use of technology might prevent them from one day pursuing their dreams or shorten their lifespan.

Limit Technology Usage

The boundaries that you create through rules and lessons can protect your child from future technology addiction that can lead to serious consequences later in life such as distracted driving. According to this car accident lawyer, increased driver distractions is a leading contributor to serious auto accidents. More and more teens are driving while playing with their technological devices so be sure to apply those limits and boundaries to the car as well as to their time at home. Your teen won't automatically accept what you have to say about their relationship with technology. Most teens see their parents as out-of-touch people who don't understand how much they need their tech to get through their day. You must show your child that their technology is not an absolutely necessary part of every moment of their life.

To start out, prevent your children from having any access to glowing screens at least four hours before their bedtime. Give them chores and hobbies that aren't screen-based to distract them from the loss of screen time. Keep in mind that they might experience severe withdrawal initially. You must plan accordingly by weaning them off their tech gradually. Limit their time on a phone or computer to one hour at any given time, then 45 minutes and eventually 30 minutes. This will help teach them that the instant elements of internet technologies don't accurately reflect the speed of daily offline life.

If you need a more concrete limitation, try to establish a sort of iPhone lock screen time where your teen is required to do other things for a certain amount of time. Make sure you are there to enforce this period of time.Focus all of your actions on cultivating an idea in their mind that modern technologies don't exist primarily to provide non-stop entertainment or create addiction, but instead their purpose is to make life easier and simpler.

Show Reputation Damage

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Teenagers often make mistakes and have poor impulse control because their brains haven't yet reached the development stage required to make good decisions all of the time. Some teens believe that they can get away with inappropriate behaviors like excessively drinking, reckless driving, and performing outrageous stunts. Some simply act out of impulse and then regret it later. Microphones and cameras in their personal electronics, along with numerous programs designed to copy and store everything uploaded to the internet, have resulted in permanent records of these mistakes.

With a simple keyword search online, you can find countless examples of teenage antics harming the reputations of college students and working adults. Bookmark online pages that outline some of these examples; then, show your teen why they need to be more careful with their offline and online actions. Discuss with them methods for reducing risk. For example, create a list that outlines risky and inappropriate behaviors, such as their uploading or allowing someone they know to upload compromising pictures or videos, so that they have a reminder to guide them. Emphasize firmly that they need to think before they speak everywhere, especially while on social media. If they have difficulty controlling online outbursts, block them from using their social media accounts. If they lash out at you, confiscate their tech and keep trying to help them to understand that their statements as a teen might actually cause them serious losses as an adult and possibly even legal troubles.

Cover Security Concerns

Lastly, every parent should discuss the other types of safety risks caused by online technology. Create a secondary reminder list that outlines all of these dangers, the steps your teen needs to follow for protection, and instruction to report various incidents. For example, show them how to use password generators to update their account passwords on a regular basis. Talk with them about identity theft. Do more than say that a thief can create a false identity. Walk them through slowly all of the steps that you and they would have to take to report the theft to credit bureaus, police, governmental agencies and any companies pulled into fraud by someone using their name and to prevent additional events. Show them the steps they can take today to protect their data. Additionally, go over the many ways that bullies, predators, and stalkers use modern technologies to target teens and adults. Help them to understand how they should respond if someone targets them.

Your teen can have a healthy relationship with technology. They merely need you to show them the way. Since teens can have difficulty focusing, especially if overwhelmed with information, break up these topics into separate one-on-one discussions every week. Before a new discussion, quickly cover the previous week's topic highlights, go over any questions and then cover the next topic. This type of effort reinforces that you're focused on their health and well-being and that you're available to answer questions and help them. And if you feel a bit overwhelmed? That’s normal, and there are plenty of resources available for help.


Why Stress Has Become So Common

Recent shifts in social, economic, and lifestyle trends have fueled the age of anxiousness. Many high school students and teenagers especially struggle with feeling overwhelmed and stressed. These trends isolate people from one another and cause us to lose touch with nature and the present moment. Essential oils provide a natural option for relieving feelings of stress and even sadness as well.

What social factors contribute to the increase of people with stress?

Consider three social characteristics that affect these issues: social class or status, the influence of media on our perception, and the increasing use of technology. The current culture of the US may be said to contribute to this rise by perpetuating a culture of self-isolation, loss of trust, and widespread instant gratification.

  • Social/class status: It’s safe to assume that we live in a culture that promises the attainment of individualism through consumption at the expense of others. Equality and equity are often seen as the same thing, which further divides and isolates us from one another, making it harder to develop trust and empathy.

  • Media Influence: Media outlets often portray a world that seems like it’s falling apart. Violent images are more memorable and therefore, more prevalent in the age of information. This distribution of violence causes people to perceive the world as an increasingly dangerous place, even though in the US we may be at the lowest level of crime as reported by victims.

  • Technology: Studies have found five links between the use of technology and the development of anxious feelings: its convenience insulates us from small uncertainties and leads to avoidance, physical, and cyber-communication are very different, social media is a platform for instant public judgment, and the internet provides a window into other people’s lives, leading to a “compare and despair” situation.

How can I use essential oils to relieve the feelings of stress and anxiousness?

Studies have shown that aromatherapy can significantly lower stress. Lavender, cedarwood, and jasmine essential oils are the most popular oils used. Just place a few drops of the oil of your choice and rub your palms together. Place your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply. Take a few calm breaths for instant relief.

  • Lavender oil can improve mental concentration, reduce stress, calm agitation and aid sleep

  • Cedarwood oil acts as a way to create a sleeping environment, and relieve stress and tension, calming the mind.

  • Jasmine oil is known for calming the nerves and helping people to overcome stress.

What can I do to help relieve this stress long-term?

Seek out more face-to-face interactions. Try going out with friends or family, or go alone to places where you can comfortably people-watch. Notice how people interact, and practice your communication skills.

Find more positive news sources. If you feel overwhelmed by the violence and chaos blasted on every news outlet, make it your goal to read at least one positive news story a day.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by school, then look into alternatives to traditional high school. You could attend an online public high school, which allows you to learn at your own pace.

Decrease your use of technology. Set some time for yourself to avoid social media, video streaming, and gaming daily. Use this time to engage in physical activity, such as exercising or gardening. Be mindful and in the present moment.

Avoid giving in to instant gratification. It’s easy to order food and avoid cooking or even speaking to anyone with the press of a button. However, instant gratification can lead to a lack of self-control and discipline. Take the time to cook or shop for groceries, despite it feeling like a waste of time.

And of course, always consider therapy and professional help should your stress feel overwhelming.

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Is Your Divorce Affecting Your Teen’s Academic Performance?

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Although many married couples with children and teens try to divorce amicably to spare their kids distress and emotional fallout, research shows that sometimes divorce does impact a child's school or sports performance. It is essential for parents to monitor children's behavior and progress at home and in academic or social contexts to be aware of any problems that may develop. Here are some helpful steps parents can take to help their children and teens adjust following a divorce.

Develop a Support Network

Adolescents and youth who are struggling more than seems normal with their emotions stemming from a change in family structure may need extra support. Some may benefit from parental encouragement to adopt a hobby, or join a sports team or club. They might appreciate the option of family counseling where they can objectively share their concerns and explore their feelings. Family counseling could happen in the home with your children and you, or you could sign up for family therapy sessions with a trained professional. Encouraging a child to continue sharing activities with trusted friends can be helpful. Many times when one pillar of support, like family, begins to shake or crack, children will reach out to other areas for support like friends or their hobbies. This can be a good thing they may need to keep them going through a hard time, but it can cause a rift in your relationship, so making sure you try to stay an active part of their life is essential. Kids and teens need to know that much of their life will remain the same, and that other people care about them.

Track Your Child's Grades

Many schools now provide interim grades rather than only a quarterly report. Midway through each school quarter, or term, the teacher, student, and parents will see from the student's grades how well he or she is doing. In some of the higher grades, like in middle school or high school there are ways to go online at any time to see your student’s grades. Families are an important part of a student's educational experience, and parents in particular play a critical role as their personal learning coach, keeping the student on track and communicating with teachers. You should talk to them about their grades in an open and non-judgmental way. As said before, grades can start to dip if a student is having personal trials at home. Sit down with your student, talking about their grades, help them calculate their GPA and be consistent in efforts to raise it. Adjustments to a homework routine or an enhanced study process can be implemented to help students improve their grades before the end of that term. Early intervention catches problems at a stage when the student can take greater control or change learning habits to do better at school.

Get Involved in Your Child's Social Activities

Children and teens who play sports or join clubs often appreciate it when parents participate as warranted. For example, parents who attend recitals, attend competitive sports events, or volunteer as a teacher's assistant in your son or daughter's school demonstrate love and caring in visible ways. Finding the right balance is important, since many children appreciate you incorporating yourself, but some may not. Adjusting yourself to the needs of your child is more important than feeling good about yourself for checking off a list or doing something you feel you should do. Despite a divorce, the child's security stemming from one or both parents is reinforced when parents spend time at social activities.

Maintain Amicable Interactions with the Other Parent

After the divorce, the family dynamic will change. But it does not have to be bitter or self-serving. Former spouses who are congenial and mutually respectful, at least in front of the kids, can make their children feel less stressed and more secure. Speaking frankly and openly with teens or older children could help them be more relaxed about the situation because you are granting them a higher level of trust. They will take that confidential or personal information seriously and will respect you more for you respecting them. Relaxed tensions will enable young students to focus on schoolwork and social activities with friends in positive ways.

Sometimes divorce seems inevitable. But its effects on children can be mitigated. If you need help with counseling or guidance, see how we can help!