Tips for tough teen times

Monday, January 8, 2018

As baby New Year replaces old man 2017, teens find themselves facing more pressures than ever before. New technologies, the pitfalls of social networking and constant contact and validation with peers, and an economy that has many parents taking extra jobs may leave teens more on their own than ever before.

But there are ways for teens to beat the tough times, with just a little effort.

•Read More – Read, read, read. Read newspapers, books and magazines. Read more than you did last year. Pick a genre that you like and buy five novels – don’t ignore classics and plays or things on your schools reading list. If you liked The Matrix, you’d love George Orwell’s 1984, one of the inspirations for The Matrix.

•Get involved – The youth vote tipped the scales in favor of Barack Obama in the election nine years ago. Young people, when united, were strong enough to change the course of one of the most powerful nations on the planet. Imagine how much good we could do if we all volunteered our time to a worthy cause at least once a week?

•Do something outdoors – Teens today are spending way too much time shackled to their phones. When weather permits, get outside for at least a few minutes every day. Walk down to the corner store. Ride a bike. Join a gym. Do something so that you don’t form bad habits that hurt your health later on in life.

•Talk to your parents – Many problems that arise between parents and teens revolve around lack of communication. The more you talk to them about your day, your activities, your social life and yes, even your boyfriend/girlfriend, the more they will feel involved in your life. They will trust you more, and you will benefit from their wisdom, even when you least expect it.

•Stay informed – A whopping 67 percent of high school students couldn’t identify our vice president, speaker of the House of Representatives or Senate Majority Leader, or knew we were at war with Iraq. There is no excuse for being ill-informed about the world around you. Know who your leaders are. Know what’s going on in your town, your state, your country and your world.

Come on, teens. You're our future. Tune in. Please.