So your teenager has the travel bug. Maybe they want to travel abroad to study, develop a second language, or volunteer with a service organization. These excursions are becoming incredibly popular with teens that want to spread their wings of independence and see the world on their own.
Whether we like it or not, adolescents are viewing pornography - intentionally and accidentally - at increasing rates. Sexual curiosity is a normal part of adolescence, but some neuroscientists argue that the brains of adolescents are more sensitive to highly stimulating reward responses. In other words, it is more difficult for adolescent brains to make smarter decisions when presented with potentially harmful, but sexually rewarding possibilities.
The world is a challenging place for teenagers these days, and taking that developmental journey from childhood to young adulthood is more stressful than ever. With the proliferation of social media, expectations for our teens to be popular have gone up. The risks of hurt from insults and exclusion and the fatigue from never being away from one’s online peer group can lead to all kinds of psychological and emotional problems - all of these factors, not surprisingly, are resulting in a rise of depression with our teenaged girls and boys.
Any parent who has survived their child’s middle school years will assure you that you can successfully navigate them, too. Although the honeymoon period of elementary school is over and middle school comes with ample trials and tribulations for most kids, try not to expect the worst. Parents who welcome the challenges of junior high as opportunities for growth will still be smiling by the time they attend their child’s junior high graduation ceremony.
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