Teens deal with a lot of issues in their lives, more than any other generation has had to face in their lives. Depression, drugs, break ups, teen pregnancy, cutting, abusive parents, failing grades, rape, poverty, and social rejection to name a few. With all of this turmoil, they need to find healthy ways of coping with the problems they will face. As youth workers, we have the premium opportunity to teach resiliency and healthy coping ideas to teens.
There are a lot of great ways to handle this, but almost all of these coping methods can be done wrongly and be unhealthy. Some things like cutting and underage drinking are obviously unhealthy, but its those “okay” things that people do in an unhealthy way that slip through the cracks. A teen girl looks like they are just a hard worker is actually over compensating from verbal and emotional abuse as school and so she spends all her time at the library and ignores social engagements. A guy who is a star basketball player is really covering the fact that his alcoholic dad abuses him and so he is always in the weight room or shooting hoops, just as long has he does not have to talk about his feelings. Both of these situations become unhealthy and we need to look out for them, being supportive when they become apparent.
I love how the Skit Guys address this subject in their video Baggage. We do not go through it alone. You can see it below: