The tempestuous teens, the years of rebellion, are those in which youngsters tend to reject – although often only temporary – the standards of their parents and teachers. These are the years of experimentation, of striving for independence, of building self-confidence. Adolescents are adjusting to bodies that are still growing and changing, and to the awakening of sexual feelings. Under pressure from their peers, many teenagers find it difficult to resist high-risk temptations such as alcohol and drugs. It is important for parents to ease young people through these problem years with sympathy and understanding, and to help them learn how to handle stress, reject cigarettes and drugs, maintain a healthy diet, and continue to get plenty of exercises.
Emotional and Mental Health in Teenagers
• Recognize that you must coexist with the rest of the society. Treat other people and their opinions – even if you don’t agree with them – with the same courtesy and respect you want them to show you.
• Learn to make up your own mind, not just accept other people’s opinions.
• Learn to cope with mistakes and failures. No one can be perfect or be a winner all the time, even if it looks that way from the outside.
• Learn how to be alone. Use the time to relax, to think, or to pursue a special interest.
• Understand your sexual urges.
• Develop good relationships with members of both sexes. Learn to trust, and to be trustworthy, to share your thoughts and feelings, and to be a good listener.
• Feed your mind with new ideas. Read books, magazines, and newspapers for information and entertainment.
Work Finance and Family in Teenage Years
• It is easy to become very self-involved, but remember that you are part of a family. Learn how to express your interest in, and concern for, brothers and sisters, and parents and grandparents.
• Think about your future and work hard to qualify for college entrance or a job.
• Learn to organize your work time efficiently so that you can do everything you have to without needless stress. Don’t put off studying until the last minute, hastily written papers and crammed for exams do not reflect your real abilities, and can leave you feeling anxious.
• Learn how to handle money. Make a list of all your expenditures. Decide which ones are essential – fares, lunches – and which are desirable extras. Then consider how you might earn money for these, perhaps by babysitting or walking someone’s dog.
Fitness and Body Care in Teenage Days
• Take good care of your body. Bathe or shower daily, wash your hair regularly, and brush your teeth after meals. An unkempt appearance is not attractive to anyone else.
• Go to that little extra in sports. You will enjoy the sense of achievement.
• Take a responsible attitude toward sexual behavior.
• Avoid drugs. They don’t contribute anything positive to your life, but will harm your health and well-being even if you can’t feel the effects now.
• Take up a new sport to learn new skills and meet people. Have you tried tennis or hiking?
Health Checks in Teenagers
• Check your height and weight twice a year. A balanced diet and plenty of exercises should help you maintain the correct weight and body mass index. Remember that weighing too little is as unhealthy as weighing too much.
• Have your eyesight checked regularly. Wear glasses or contact lenses if you need them – lenses give better all-around vision.
• Visit the dentist every six months and practice good dental hygiene.
• See your family doctor or a dermatologist for information and advice about coping with acne.
• Girls: Check your breasts every month. This is a vital part of your personal health care that you should continue throughout your life.
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