Every year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse surveys teenagers at hundreds of schools all over the country to understand shifting attitudes and rates of drug abuse. The 2018 survey found that more than 35% of 12th graders reported vaping within the last year. Vaping was the second most abused drug.
These statistics show that today’s adolescents are dealing with struggles that weren’t in existence when their parents were young. Technology has changed everything from the way they communicate with one another to how they learn and experiment with various drugs. That may leave you as a parent or caregiver wondering how to help your teen survive these stressful years.
At Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, we’re on a mission to help males aged 14 to 17 overcome not only substance abuse and disordered eating but also exercise, social media, smartphone, and gaming addictions. These process addictions are taking our middle and high schools by storm, and we want to arm you with powerful skills that you can use at home to help your teen thrive.
How to Help Your Teen Through Communication
In the age of text messaging, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s not difficult to see why many teenagers are startled when their cellphones ring instead of ding. They spend the majority of their time communicating through emojis, abbreviations, and code words. Some are more comfortable snapping selfies than they are expressing their emotions vocally.
You can help your teen improve their communication skills by making time to converse with them on a routine basis. That may seem overly simplistic, but the technology age has changed how many adults parent. It’s easy to send a text message rather than walk across the house and open your teenager’s bedroom door. They may prefer the message too, but it robs them of an opportunity to vocalize what they need and want from you.
Here are a few additional ideas to encourage healthy communication skills at home:
- Eat dinner at the table without cellphones.
- Attend family therapy with your teen because much of what they learn and experience stems from their home life. You’ll have the opportunity to gain new insight into your teen’s attitudes, thoughts, and challenges as a professional guides the conversation.
- Start a parent-child journal. You can buy them in stores or simply start one in a blank spiral notebook. You write something or answer a prompt and then pass the journal to your teen. They’ll develop their writing skills while sharing their thoughts and ideas in a new format.
All of these strategies will help with more than communication skills. They will give your teen many opportunities to put down the game controller, turn off their cellphone, and open up about issues that matter.
How to Help Your Teen with Self-Confidence
If you can give your teenager one gift that would help them succeed in life, self-confidence would work. It’s something that many teens struggle with, but you can foster it by focusing on their efforts and ambitions rather than their failures. Never pass up an opportunity to compliment him on something he’s done well, but also pay attention when he attempts something new.
Adolescent Treatment Center in North Carolina
You’ve gained some insightful knowledge on how to help your teen overcome the challenges of adolescence in the age of technology. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is the next step. Our adolescent treatment center offers gender-specific treatment options for males between the ages of 14 and 17, including:
- Equine therapy
- Family therapy
- Disordered eating treatment
- Process addiction treatment
- Substance abuse treatment
If you’re concerned about the way your teen uses technology, from vaping to calorie counting apps and video games, give us a call at 866.300.5275. You don’t want substance abuse or process addictions to control your teen’s life. We can help you put him on the path to successful recovery.