Posts Tagged ‘teen’

Teen self esteem: Should we be worried?

Self esteem is all about feeling good about yourself, which is descended from how much you feel you are worth and how much you feel other people value you. Common phrases heard from teens these days often include ‘I’m too fat’ and ‘Why can’t I look like that?’. This is becoming more and more prominent in today’s society. We should be encouraging our upcoming generation to be comfortable within themselves and their appearance. This self doubt can affect their mental and physical state.

Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is the key foundation to being able to gain self esteem and accept who we really are. By accepting our faults and recognizing our strengths and talents we will live in a much healthier frame of mind.

Poor self esteem in teenagers is most commonly influenced by going through puberty and the impact of media. Teenagers tend to compare themselves to their peers and role models. As teenagers go through their development stages at different times it is often hard to accept all shapes and sizes. They often wonder why they don’t look like their friends. This is also evident when looking at the subject of media, as it is constantly thrown in our faces that we are not good enough and that we should always be improving our appearance. It is seen everywhere, from magazines to television, video clips and advertisements.

This makes it hard for teenagers to be accepting of the way they look and feel about themselves when they are constantly comparing themselves to celebrities and unrealistic advertisements. It is brainwashing from an early age, we are surrounded by it. The sexualisation in video clips is another factor, it’s encouraging the viewer to have to appear ‘sexy’ to be noticed. Is this what we want teens to think? Looking from a different perspective, the young male generation have this sudden need to ‘bulk up’. Where did this come from? Is it really healthy?

In my opinion I think we should definitely be worried about this subject. It is hard to be accepting of our flaws. With the way our future generation is heading, it seems as if we are going to be a very unhealthy society, both physically and mentally. Do you know any girls that starve themselves just to be skinny? Do you think this is helping their mental or physical state? This is what we should be worrying about.

We should be recognizing and celebrating each individual and their own identity. Think realistically and accept that we are all imperfect, yet we are our perfect selves. Nobody is exactly the same and nobody is the same YOU. Ban all negative comments and thoughts by giving compliments and celebrating our own uniqueness. Teen self esteem is an issue in which is almost impossible to solve, but not impossible to improve. We can all make a difference, whether you are a parent, teacher, student or any member of the public you can encourage the importance of self esteem and acceptance.

Teen alcohol abuse

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The misuse of alcohol by teenagers is on the rise. There are many health risks which occur as a result of alcohol such as impaired brain development, injury or death. The abuse of alcohol has also been slowly increasing the rates of drink-driving, unsafe sex and use of drugs. Although underage alcohol consumption can be considered socially acceptable for some, many are not aware of the dangerous side-effects and serious consequences.

Many are unaware that people who consume alcohol under the age of 25 are at a high risk of impaired brain development. Teenagers are particularly at risk as their brains are still developing. During the teenage years the frontal lobe and hippocampus go through dramatic changes. These areas of the brain are linked to motivation, impulse control and addiction. Excessive alcohol consumption also interferes with vitamin B absorption, which prevents the brain from working properly. If the excessive drinking is long-term it may lead to a range of disorders. This can include symptoms such as memory-loss and balance problems. So why is underage drinking acceptable? It shouldn’t be.

It is widely recognized that alcohol impairs judgement. This is very common with the topic of unsafe sex. The risks associated with alcohol and sexual practices include intercourse without a condom, exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), possible pregnancy or rape. If this was happening to your child, friend, relative or anyone in relation to you, would you be worried?

It is more likely that teenagers are going to take risks when drinking. This leads to many deaths, particularly on the roads with drink-driving and drink walkers. Other significant factors which can lead to death or serious injury include drowning, drug overdose suicide or fighting. So what leads teenagers to drink when there are serious consequences? It is mainly caused by peer pressure and the influence of adults, and yes, this does mean parents! Children learn by imitation, and the most influential role in a child’s life is their parents. If parents do not demonstrate sensible drinking behaviours it is more likely that when their child is introduced to alcohol they are going to drink excessively.

Misuse of alcohol is often linked to the use of drugs. Not to mention that many drugs are illegal, but the consumption of alcohol and drugs together can suppress the central nervous system. This causes breathing and heart rate to decrease to a dangerous level, resulting in an overdose. It is also linked to risk taking, putting the consumer and others in potential danger.

The rise in teen alcohol consumption is a topic that will never be at rest, but there are things we can do to help prevent the consequences caused by the abuse of alcohol. It starts at an early age; parents should monitor their drinking and become a positive role model for their children. Information should also be provided by schools to increase the knowledge on the effects of alcohol for teenagers in today’s society. It’s not too late to make it safer for our teens.