Helping Yourself Cope With Social Anxiety Disorder

It is extremely rare to meet a teenager who never went through the awkward stage. That usually happens during puberty when your body goes through a series of physical changes due to hormones. The boys’ voice cracks before it deepens, thus causing them not to want to talk much until the transformation is complete. The girls begin to experience a bit widening of the hips and breast growth too, which they may wish to hide as much as possible.

The thing is, everyone can get over this awkward phase after a few months. It should not take long for teens to embrace the new version of themselves because that’s what practically sets them apart from kids. Isn’t that the dream of most youngsters: to not become labeled as children?

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Now, if you are nearing young adulthood but still unable to go out and meet people without feeling nervous, the problem may no longer be puberty. According to a National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement report in 2010, 9.1 percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 suffer from social anxiety disorder. A higher portion of them belongs to the female population, and many folks deal with an overlapping illness too.

One thing that is tough to guarantee at this point is the curability of the disorder. However, you can learn to cope with the anxiety to lessen its effects on you.

1. Do Not Entertain Negative Thoughts

Your issues tend to come from the fact that you allow negativity to enter your life. Often, you question your value in the eyes of other people. When you look at your reflection anywhere, you only pay attention to your flaws. The result is that you become more anxious to face the crowd.

If you want to beat social anxiety, you have to stop entertaining derogatory ideas about yourself. According to Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D., “Attention to negative things equals negative emotions; Attention to positive things equals positive emotions.”

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2. Ignore Things That Are Not Worth Getting Anxious About

The mental disorder is helpful in the sense that it makes you extra vigilant of your surroundings. It is automatic for you to scan the entire room and check out every person you see to assess who might be criticizing you or not.

Nevertheless, after a single once-over, you should ask a colleague or relative to validate your observations. Doing so will give you the opportunity to ignore stuff that you should not concern yourself with and enjoy your surroundings better. “To break free of the prison of shyness, you must stop dwelling on your own insecurities and become more aware of the people around you,” said Bernardo J Carducci Ph.D.

3. Bring A Source Of Distraction

Whenever you go out, it is vital to take a source of distraction as well. That can come in the form of a friend who can chatter away and keep your mind off your environment. If you cannot drag anyone with you, you may also have your music player ready or play games on your smartphone. You ought to anticipate the resurfacing of your symptoms beforehand to stop it from sneaking up on you later.

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Practice Is The Key

“A practice of affirmations is a perfect way to train your subconscious mind, the part of the mind that runs all the systems of the body,” shares Athena Staik, Ph.D. The truth is that it is impossible to master coping mechanisms for a mental disorder within 24 hours. You may think of it as a skill that you get better with over time. Because of that, you need to practice tips one to three to keep social anxiety from ruining the rest of your adolescent years.

Good luck!

 

Why Teenage Pregnancy Became Prevalent In The Past

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Going through adolescence is not a simple walk in the park for girls. Your parents expect you to know the wrong choices from the right ones. They want you to excel at school, do your chores at home, and possibly get a job in the summer. Then, there are the aspects of finding real friends, weeding out the bad influences, and making sure that your heart doesn’t get toyed with by silly boys. “At these moments, our teens all too often make some pretty bad decisions,” explains Dr. Jess Shatkin.

Another thing that haunts girls is the issue of teenage pregnancy. We have seen the rise of this dilemma in the late 20th century. Instead of attending concerts of NSYNC, West Life, and Boyz II Men – boy bands that became famous during the 1990s – young mothers had to grow up quicker than everyone to look after their kids. While same-aged folks worried about exams, they were busy looking for an employer who wouldn’t mind hiring someone who didn’t even have a high school diploma yet.

Although government units across the globe have made significant movements to lower the statistics of teenage pregnancy at present, we can’t help but wonder why the problem became prevalent in the past.

Here are the possible causes we’ve gathered.

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Poverty

One of the common reasons why teenage pregnancy takes place in any country is poverty. The teens have no financial means to pursue a worthwhile hobby or stick to studying. Their parents cannot bring them to an OB-GYN either to put them on birth control. Due to that, many sexually active girls do the horizontal tango without protection.

Feeling Neglected

For teens whose parents are working hard to provide their needs, it’s easy to assume that their family does not care about them or no one loves them. That’s why they opt to look for affection from other people.

Whereas this decision is better than developing depression or suicidal tendencies, everyone can’t always be lucky at finding genuine individuals. If a teenager dates someone who is after that one thing only, she may end up pregnant before she’s even ready for that kind of responsibility.

Sexual Abuse

There’s also the case of rape or sexual abuse. “A person who’s suffered from sexual abuse may feel very depressed, sad, lonely, and hopeless,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. It was not easy to prevent this form of violence in the past due to lack of access to hi-tech communication devices.  CCTVs on the dark alleys or parties were perhaps uncommon back then too. Thus, the wrongdoers succeed in their evil deeds, leaving a young girl traumatized and pregnant.

Ignorance

Last but not the least, remember that sex used to be a taboo subject. Parents rarely speak of it in front of the kids. The schoolteachers may be mum about the topic as well. Their goal is not to open the teenagers’ eyes to sexual possibilities.

Despite that, we are all born curious. Even if the adults don’t talk about something, teens usually try to satisfy their curiosity on their own. So, you can quickly tell what can happen if a teenage girl who’s only heard of the birds and the bees do the deed all of a sudden.

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In Conclusion

In a sense, teenage pregnancy has a bright side as well. Among the pluses are having a little angel to take care of, strengthening the relationship with family members, and finding your purpose in life. However, becoming pregnant when you are technically a child yourself will only make things tough for you and your baby in the future. As what Joni E Johnston Psy.D. said, “It’s not surprising to me that one of the best ways to prevent teen pregnancy is for teens to have long-term goals, good self-esteem, and a caring and consistent home environment.”

Our advice to fellow youth, therefore, is to be smart all the time. Never give in to peer pressure – that will push you to commit acts that come with grave consequences. Ask questions during your sex education class as well so that you don’t end up needing to grow up too fast.

Parental Obligations That Teens Need To Accept

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A child who used to love being the center of their parents’ attention changes during adolescence. When the mom asks where you are going in the middle of the night, you might say you will attend a group study even though you are actually going to a friend’s party. When the dad wants you to be home before seven o’clock every day, you might question their order and still stay out later than that, irrespective of the consequences. “Many parents feel constrained and controlled by their teen’s irritability, anger, and fragility — circumventing necessary communications, problem solving, and limit setting,” according to Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.

It is highly apparent that this transformation took place because you want to prove that you are pretty much an adult by now. Curfews get deflected by you; parents have no other task than to give you a monetary allowance and a roof atop your head. The reality you clearly cannot see, though, is that parents have obligations that you need to accept and respect.

 

  1. Asking For Facts

The first responsibility of a teenager’s mother or father is to find out every truth that their kid holds. They do not always have to be the most jaw-dropping ones. It can include things like their new crush at school, the hobbies they want to take, and the grades they get. According to Amy Morin, LCSW, “A few simple changes to your parenting strategies could give your child the tools he needs to manage his behavior more effectively.”

For some teens, it tends to feel as if their parents are snooping. In their head, the facts they will provide might only get used against them in the future. And that is entirely wrong.

Your folks want to inquire about these things because they don’t wish to realize one day that they no longer know their offspring. That typically happens to parents who give kids so much freedom, to the point that the latter care more about others’ opinions than their parents’.

 

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  1. Talking To Your Peers

Your mother and father can also speak to your friends, teachers, and anyone else you are in contact with at the moment. It is their parental right to do so, especially because these people might become a positive or negative influence on you.

In case your parents do it whenever someone comes over to the house or they watch over your activities, you should feel glad instead of mad. Yes, their questions may sound crazy at times, but they are still better than those moms or dads who have no clue about the stuff their kids do outside of the house.

  1. Keeping Your Communication Lines Open

It is often the parents’ obligation to maintain an essential line of communication between family members. It helps them understand everything about their children without having to make guesses. Not to mention, it gives them extra opportunity to get to know you and your siblings better as you all grow up into fine young ladies and gentlemen.

Because of that, you should try not to get annoyed when your mommy and daddy take turns asking you about school and love life. They are not doing that to find a way to ground you. It is merely their method to help you see that you can talk to them about anything anytime.

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  1. Giving You A Chance For A Better Future

Finally, it is your parents’ responsibility to make sure that your adult life will be ten times greater than theirs. The task seems easy at first since they can simply hire the best tutors or send you to an Ivy League school. However, if you are quite an adventurous kid who tends to dive into trouble sometimes, they might become strict and prevent you from growing your social circle as much as you want.

Although it sucks to be in that situation, you have to give props to your mom and dad for taking an interest in your future. They do not wish for you to go astray, so they are trying to discipline you in the way they know. That does not often equate to fun, but you will thank them later when you find a six-figure job and are living the life everyone wants to have.

 

Your parents wish for you to have the greatest things in life, young one. They have a role to fulfill as your guardians, and they will do everything to keep you on the right track. That is something that all teens need to accept now to avoid clashes with your folks. As what Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.  shared, “We can’t prevent the unexpected. But we can build our capacity, and that of our family, to cope.”

Why A Teenager Like You Should Never Give In To Peer Pressure

You don’t have to travel the world to know how much teens can do to please their peers. Some learn how to smoke, snort drugs, or participate in sexual activity early. Others tend to commit a criminal offense because their so-called friends asked them to do so. When the time comes to pay for their mistakes, though, the latter disappears and acts as if they never hung out together.

 

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Those are only a few of the bad things you might experience once you join the wrong set of friends. This is a complex point, because people tend to think of adolescence as the time when teenagers are really susceptible to peer pressure,” said Jennifer H. Pfeifer PhD. The other reasons to never give in to peer pressure can be seen below.

  1. You Are Smart

Yes, you are smart. Most teens are, although some prefer to show a different façade. You know how to circumvent problems. You can figure out what’s genuinely happening around you whether an adult talks about it or not.

However, when you allow the wrong crowd to influence you, these people can dumb you down. All of a sudden, you have no way to distinguish right from wrong. You forget the lessons from your parents – your only goal is to be a part of that group. When will you ever get to exercise your smarts if you stick around them?

  1. You Won’t Be Able To Decide For Yourself

When kids reach adolescence, it seems typical to ask your mom and dad to get off your case and trust your decision-making skills. You do not want them hanging around during your school practices because you are already “old enough” to stay there on your own. When shopping for clothes, you refuse to listen to your parents’ suggestions, believing that you understand fashion more than they do.

Well, giving in to peer pressure entails that you are letting someone else control your life. Not only will you have to follow a particular clothing style. You may just fit in if you talk and act like your friends. Yep, so much for exercising your freedom as a teenager. “In addition, teens who learn, or fail to learn, how to express independence and closeness with friends and partners during adolescence carry these skills forward into adult relationships,” says Rick Nauert PhD.

 

Source: defense.gov

 

  1. You Might Dabble Into Things That Are Hard To Come Back From

As mentioned in the introduction, getting involved in a toxic friendship brings you closer than ever to dangerous activities. Most ill-meaning adolescents tend to believe that they are untouchable, that nobody can or should tell them what to do. They love defying rules and trying life-threatening stunts, e.g., illegal racing, betting, street fighting, burgling, and sometimes even buying and selling drugs. “Weigh risks against benefits,” advised Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Think about this: if you get caught doing any of those things, how confident are you that no one will charge an offense against you? The justice system is practically in a state of equilibrium now, in the sense that your parents won’t be able to pay anyone to set you free. Then, you might serve time in prison, depending on how serious the case is.

If you wish to reduce your chances of going to jail as a juvenile, you should stay away from bad influences.

  1. You Deserve A Good Life

Irrespective of how much you justify the harmful things that your newfound friends are pressuring you to do, it remains as a fact that you are better off without them.

Why did you even want to join their group in the first place? If the reason is that they are all gorgeous and popular and you wish to be like them, well, that sounds sad. You should never be willing to give up your future to be in the spotlight for a while. If anything, you should befriend smart kids since brains last longer than beauty.

In case it is because you are tired of being an underdog at school, you can still shake off the bullies by standing up for yourself or speaking to the principal about the situation. There is no need to hide behind other teens – especially not if they are capable of hurting you later.

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To Sum Things Up

All we want to say is that your happiness during the teenage years does not depend on the number of famous kids surrounding you. It is excellent if you can find real friends among them. However, considering once they start asking or teaching you to do bad things, you need to tap out. They want you to give in to peer pressure, which is not a smart teen like you should ever do.

 

 

 

Things To Think About Before Allowing Teens To Start Dating

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Whether people see teenage couples in the silver screen or online media platforms, many cannot help but swoon for their relationship. “Ah, love. The stuff that makes the world go ’round, leaves us swooning, and creates that feeling of walking on air with butterflies in our bellies, barely able to catch our breath,” quotes Sara Villanueva Ph.D. Young love always seems so sweet, after all. The lovebirds talk about and share their dreams with each other. They do not have to deal with various responsibilities like adults. It gives them a shot at meeting their one true love early too.

Despite that, we are not oblivious of the fear that reigns over the parents’ hearts whenever they think of their teenage son or daughter dating someone. Some folks even say, “Why, do you have a job already? How can you feed your future family?” Although it sounds like an overreaction, you know that their anxiety is not a product of their wild imagination.

Thus, if you consider allowing your teens to date, these are the things you should think about before giving your go signal.

  1. Their Age

The first point you need to reflect on is your son or daughter’s age. In case he or she is almost out of high school, then you may not have to worry about them not knowing how to handle themselves in front of people. If your child only reached the age of 12, it is possible that he or she may have heard about dating from others, but they have zero interest in relationships in real life.

 

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  1. The Person That They Will Go Out With

Most kids who ask parents when they can go on a date typically have someone in mind already. The cutie at school perhaps asked your daughter out, or your son is thinking of doing the same thing to his crush. “Parents routinely meet and talk to their adolescent’s date. This is probably safer than having their teenager date someone they have not even met,” stresses Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.

Whichever the case is, it matters for you to get to know their love interest without embarrassing your teenage children. For instance, allow your kids to speak of what this person is like and why your teen son or daughter wants to be with them. Considering you all live in a small town or village, you can subtly scrutinize their crush on the church or talk to them at the park briefly. This way, you will get to decide if he or she will be a good influence on your teenager.

  1. The Possibility Of Premarital Sex

Fascinatingly enough, some parents want to discourage their children from dating early because they find it uncomfortable to open a discussion about the birds and the bees. After all, it is their responsibility to inform the kids of what can happen when a boy and a girl experiment together sexually. It won’t be a fun conversation – that’s true – yet you should think of how you can discuss the matter before your teens start dating. “Despite the sometimes obsessive fixation on accruing romantic experiences during adolescence, teens may be better off tending to their friendships to reap the benefits of romantic satisfaction in the future,” advises David Szwedo Ph.D.

  1. The Curfew

In households where everyone must be home at a specific hour, you have to look into the curfew that you will impose on the teenage child whenever he or she is on a date. Will it be the same as before? Will you let him or her to stay outside the house for an hour or two longer?

When you inform your kids regarding this curfew, try not to be overly strict. You were a teenager once, and you surely are aware that the children who find their parents’ rules unfair have a great chance of rebelling. For sure, you do not want your son or daughter to sneak out, so you have to be rational when it comes to their dating time limit.

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Thinking of your baby boy or girl falling in love can be terrifying. Many parents say they wish to see their kids grow up and create a family of their own, but they always have qualms about letting the latter date. Nevertheless, if you believe that your teenager is ready for romance – and their love interest is not some psycho – you may allow him or her to start dating.

Good luck!

What Teens Should Never Say Sorry For

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Ever since you can remember, your parents, aunts, uncles, and teachers have all probably been teaching you the basics of common courtesy. For instance, they might say, “Honey, when we reach your grandpa’s house, you should greet and kiss everyone there on the cheek.” Whenever you go to school, the adults might tell you to “share your stuff with your classmates.” They may even want you to befriend and be kind to everyone in the class. Continue reading What Teens Should Never Say Sorry For