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Advice for teenagers

girl and boy playing paddle ball
Photo: iStock

Through my years of teaching, I learned a lot about teens and how they can be easily impacted by their families problems and crises. 

As an educator and soccer coach, I will be sharing some advice for teenagers.

The word “teen” or”teenager” means a person who is 13 to 19 years old. Our teens go through changes during that age. Nothing is the same as before. Their bodies, their way of thinking and their relationships with parents, teachers, and friends all change. All of that will affect their mental health and make them confused, moody, and sometimes depressed (if no one mentors them).  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 12.5% of teens aged 12 to 17 in 2015 had at least one major depressive episode. Add to all of that technology, which affects their lives in a non-healthy way, especially if they become addicted.

Any decision teens make could affect them all their lives. 

How can we help them to make good decisions and come to us for advice? 

According to Verywell Health, there are 7 big health risks teens face. They are:

  • motor vehicle accidents
  • violence
  • suicide
  • teen pregnancy
  • STDs
  • drug addiction
  • eating disorders

In the USA, teens aged 16 to 19 have a much greater risk of death or injury in a car crash than any other age group. Seven teens in this age group die every day from motor vehicle injuries, and even more are treated in emergency rooms every day for serious injuries. 

As a teacher and a mentor, here is my advice for teenagers: find a good mentor,  find skills that they can enhance, eat healthfully, and play any kind of sport that they find interesting. A healthy body helps teens to have a healthy mind. These four pieces of advice will help them grow to be great, healthy adults. 

I also advise parents to show your teen that you love them, give them responsibility, and listen to them more.

I think that what our teenagers need most are mentors.

A mentor is a role good model that they could trust and take as an example. 

A parent can serve as a mentor. But if teenagers do not have mentoring that at home, it can cause a huge problem.  When teens look for someone to be their mentor they can end up with a bad peer. The hope is that mentors are family friends, coaches, older siblings, or teachers. The hope is that teens will end up with a guide who can help them through that difficult and confusing  period of life. If teens are close to someone they trust, they will not hide their feelings. They can also discuss sensitive health topics for teens and get help in finding answers.

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