Transitioning from adolescence to a teenager can appear daunting at first, especially with hormonal fluctuation, academic demands, and social pressures. Life changes at a rapid pace once puberty hits, and new urges, feelings and even acne emerge that were never once previously experienced. Even school education starts addressing specific issues, such as drug and alcohol consumption on campus, abstinence and sexuality, and remaining vigilant of one’s surroundings. As we age, our bodies change and this can sway our mentality and attitudes towards life. Use the following guide to help make the right decisions when faced with issues dealing with personal hygiene, drugs and alcohol, fitness and nutrition, sexual health, safety, and mental well-being.
Taking Care of Your Body:
Taking the necessary steps towards good personal hygiene will not only lead to better health, but it will build self-esteem and pride. In fact, staying committed to a healthy sleep schedule, nutritious meal plan, fitness regimen, hair care, finger and toe nail care, skin care, and oral hygiene will allow you to focus on bigger achievements. Ambition leads to success and ultimately a fulfilling life if determined to see all goals to the end. Sleep deprivation, lack of nutrition, fitness, and cosmetic care shows problems stemming inwards that should not be left unchecked. The first step towards loving others involves loving oneself, and there’s no better way to demonstrate that than to pamper one’s physical body.
- Adolescent Sleep: Adolescents and teenagers need sufficient sleep to allow their bodies to fully mature. Good sleep hygiene refers to the practice of intentionally getting enough sleep to ensure all of the changes hormonal changes occur without disruption.
- Adolescent Hygiene Basics (PDF): An extensive guide providing the essentials behind the basics of adolescent hygiene, including tips for oily hair, body hair, perspiration and odors, oral hygiene, and nutrition intake.
- Teens and Menstruation: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding teenager transition after receiving their first menstruation cycle, including hygiene tips and other suggestions to self-care.
- Teen Nutrition for all the Right Reasons (PDF): A general brochure on eating healthy and getting active in order to restore health during crucial growing periods.
Drugs and Alcohol:
Peer pressure can lead to a series of problems, including drugs and alcohol consumption. Drugs and alcohol can derail one’s ambitions by instilling apathy towards academic benchmarks, family life, and one’s future. Over-consumption of drugs and alcohol can lead towards to serious academic problems, interpersonal turmoil, low self-worth, troubles with the law, and even death if in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everybody wants to fit in with the popular crowd, but if it means sacrificing one’s own integrity for acceptance into a group, then perhaps those people do not really care about each other. True friends will stick around regardless if they do not give into peer pressure.
- Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Abuse: A list of quick facts addressing adolescent alcohol and drug abuse, including familial habits, denial, family roles, warning signs, and family therapy to overcome these additions.
- Young Drivers and Alcohol: Young drivers and binge drinking has caused severe problems on the road. This web page offers some advice to curtailing potential fatalities due to adolescents succumbing to peer pressure.
- Drugs and Alcohol Abuse in Children: An array of resources about childhood and teenage drug and alcohol abuse, including the Task Force on College Drinking, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Parenting Guidelines for Adolescent Alcohol Use.
- Peer Pressure During Adolescence: An authoritative resource covering why adolescents succumb to peer pressure and how it affects the teenagers physical and mental health.
- The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Academic Life (PDF): An extensive article covering the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on a students academic performance. In fact, studies conducted link drug and alcohol consumption with college dropouts, violence, and death on campus.
Fitness and Nutrition:
Fitness and nutrition are becoming an increasing problem for today’s teens. Physical education courses and joining a sports team can help devote one’s time to healthy eating and physical activity; however, not everybody can compete athletically, which means some students will need to find the motivation to exercise and eat right without a coach. Teenagers can talk to their parents about meal plans, and may choose to play sports with the neighborhood after school hours. In fact, parents and educators should convey this message as often as possible, because these two factors towards healthy living have greatly declined over time due to technological advances, such as the Internet and video games.
- Teen Esteem: Teen Esteem, a program dedicated to young, teenage girls looking for an alternative to physical education, focuses on exercise, nutrition, cardiovascular health, and self-esteem. Inquire with the attended institution for male-only programs.
- Fitness and Sports Nutrition: The United States Department of Agriculture offers some authoritative resources on implementing optimal fitness and sports nutrition for athletes and health-conscientious teenagers.
- Exercise for Students: Medline Plus offers reasons for exercising, including less stress, well-being, better academic performance, maintain a healthy weight, joints, and bones, and sleep better at night.
- U.S. Teens in Our World: Fitness: A comprehensive article covering pertinent information on fitness, including statistical data supporting athleticism and the lack of achieving success and overall health.
Puberty causes an onslaught of hormonal fluctuation and urges not previously experienced before by teenagers. One of the issues experienced in hormonal fluctuation can be acne. Many people use different solutions on how to get rid of acne but be wise as their are many options out there. Also, certain feelings and questions will arise in the minds of young adults, including losing one’s virginity, masturbation, condom use, safe sex, sexual anatomy, and sexual orientation/identification. Teen sexuality can trouble parents and educators if kids start having kids. Unprotected sex can also pose problems due to the prospect of spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Every educational institution should have courses promoting safe sexual health. Teenagers should be aware that some clinics offer free condoms, so there is no reason to engage in unprotected sex.
- Frequently Asked Sexuality Questions to the Kinsey Institute: The Kinsey Institute provides information regarding frequently asked sexuality questions covering across a wide array of subject matter, including virginity, condom use, masturbation, sexual fetishes, sexually transmitted diseases, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and homosexual relations, and sexual anatomy.
- Safer Sex Resources: A comprehensive, up-to-date resource web page offering resources for teenagers to learn about practicing safer sex, including the benefits and possible consequences of neglecting to engage in this practice if sexually active.
- Adolescent Sexuality and Parent-Adolescent Processes: Promoting Healthy Teen Choices: An abstract paper promoting healthy teen choices regarding their sexuality and how parental influences may lead to recurring patterns.
The Internet has offered bountiful information and mediums of exchange unparalleled in history. Social networking allows people to connect and form friendships and relationships in less than a click of a mouse. However, the Internet carries all of the dangers that the real world has to offer, including bullies, stalkers, and sexual predators. Teenagers need to beware when engaging with unknown people on the Internet, and even known acquaintances can ruin relationships if given the chance. Therefore, it’s important to chooses friends wisely, and refrain from meeting people offline without the supervision of an adult. Other safety issues may involve inexperienced driving, gang activity on campus, and violence. Safety involves a couple of factors, including smart decision making and vigilance to one’s surroundings.
- Feeling Safe At School? (PDF): A fact sheet covering statistical data about school safety for children of all ages. The focus includes the overall feeling of safety in a school environment for the general school populace.
- Internet Safety Information and Resources: A comprehensive list of informative links addressing Internet safety, including tips surrounding cyber-bullying, sexual predators, and social networking.
A large percentage of teenagers will experience setbacks in their lives. Some of these setbacks can greatly affect their mental health. If there are problems involving traumatic experiences, then one should seek out a guidance counselor or alert parental figures about seeing a professional. There could be signs and symptoms of mental disorders that should be immediately treated, otherwise situations could arise that will make life difficult. The severity of mental disorders varies with each person, and can only be diagnosed by a qualified professional. Self-medicating can actually worsen depression, according to a study conducted by the University of Chicago, so it’s better seek out help to make life easier.
- Mental Health Disorders in Children and Teens: A brief article covering statistical data regarding mental and behavioral disorders in today’s youth. About 3.7% of adolescents and teenagers experience depression between the ages of 8 and 15, while 8.6% of youth in the same age range suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Mental Health Disorders in Teens: An extensive article addressing mental health and behavior disorders in teenagers, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, teen suicide, adjustment disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome.
- Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens: A Parent’s Guide (PDF): A 27-page document detailing the affliction of bipolar disorder in children and teens. It offers suggestions for parents on helping their children overcome this disability mental disorder.
- Teen Marijuana Use Worsen Depression (PDF): Research shows that “self-medicating” depression through marijuana use can actually worsen depressive episodes.
- Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents and Teachers: A general guide for parents and teachers to understanding teen depression, including ways of identifying signs and symptoms, the effects of depression, suicide warning, and treatment options if depression is suspected in a teenager.