Pressure on teens and why are we pushing them so hard? As I consider my role as a therapist working with teen in Orlando, I am troubled by what I see around me. Why are we pushing our teens so hard? Are the parents, society, school system, etc setting the pace for our teens or are they able to express their true spirit, gifts and talents at a normal rate as intended for each individually? let me ask you the following about your teen?
-Maybe you suspect there is some experimenting with drugs and alcohol going on. Your teen is wanting to fit in and feels lost at times.
-Does your teen feel like social outcast?
-Do you know if your teen may be the victim of bullying?
-Does he or she lacks the coping and social skills expected of our youth today?
-Are we putting to much pressure to perform on our teens today?
-Does your teen put tremendous amounts of pressure on themselves to perform at nothing less than perfect?
You’re not alone if you can answer yes to any of these questions. Parents and teens are dealing with tremendous amounts of pressure and stress. Why? That is a good question. Schools are suppose to provide teen therapy onsite for those students seeking help. But let’s get real. How much time and how effective would that be. Maybe a ten minute slot with a school counselor.
I see teenagers in my private practice in Orlando that at the age of 13 and are already enrolled in AP high school classes.They are on their way to graduating high school early. Why? Do the schools want the rankings for state funding? Parents are enabling this behavior by sending messages to teens that nothing less than straight A’s are expected? Do we really think that the school system is looking out for their best interest?
Let’s look at a case study: Susie a junior in high school tell her parents that homework is overwhelming and takes up to 3-4 hours a night to complete. She feels overwhelmed and anxious. She says that her classes are to hard. That her teachers don’t really seem to care.
The parents respond with. “well you just have to continue to work hard if you want to get ahead in this world.” They may say, just stay focused and you will graduate early and be in college in no time.” Susie walks away back to her room and isolates, burying her head in her book and internally telling herself that she is a failure if she does not pass, does not get straight A’s. She is conditioned to “suck it up”. To strive to be the top of her class. To please others and believe that this is what pleases her.
Question?- What was Susie trying to say?
-Who listened to her and responded to her needs?
-What solutions have been given to Susie? What support is she feeling?
Nothing was done. Susie is dismissed and told to deal with her anxiety by doing more of the same. Working hard and “getting it done.” Why does society want to cut short our teens years? Can’t we allow them to get the full four years of high school? To be able to balance themselves emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually and academically?
In normal healthy adolescence development, teens are suppose to begin to test the rules, societies ethics, authority figures, their parents and cultures values and morals systems. Thank are not robots. They are seeking to challenge and define who they are. What is the problem with that? Healthy development for teens depends on the teen feeling listened to, validated, understood and respected.
A teen must feel supported.
-Anxiety and pressure. Learning to deal with the “rules” placed on them.
-Communicate their needs in an effective way so they do not turn to self destructive patterns of behavior.
-Assist is allowing the teen the freedom to create and let their true spirit come through and develop a sense of knowing who they are and not what they are told they must be and the conditioning placed on them at a young age.
At Life Counseling Orlando the goal for teen therapy Orlando is to help teens and adolescents with issues related to anxiety, depression, OCD, mood disorders, self-harm, developing social skills, school and family issues, peer pressure, and much more.
I find working with teens to be one of my favorite specialties. I love the honesty and the authenticity they bring in. Teens take longer to warm up. Therapy will withing two sessions feel like floating down stream. They will not feel threatened. Counseling is about energy. Teens that meet me know they can be themselves and take a deep breath. No judgement, just love, support and guidance.