Adolescence - the difficult period when a child changes from child to adult, usually beginning at age eleven and lasting through nineteen. This is a period of great change - physical changes in their body become very apparent, young people begin to search for their personal identity, they begin to feel strong sexual feelings and learn what is socially appropriate and responsible in reaction to theses feelings.
Young people begin to challenge parents' authority and the safety of their care in order to develop personal freedom and independence. This is a time when they begin to know the world they live in, their social systems become more solid, their school work becomes more challenging, many hold their own jobs and become active in extra-curricular and civic activities.
Ironically, during these turbulent years, as young folks work hard at establishing their self-identity and individuality they are very vulnerable to the pressures of the world and often look for security in their peers. Adolescence brings with it a period of apprehension, insecurity, and experimentation which produces a kind of sameness in order to become one-of-the crowd. These young adults begin to dress in similar fashion and wear similar hairstyles; they begin to talk alike, listen to the same style of music, and socialize with others of similar mind.
Individuality and maturity carries with it a long period of unreasonable judgment commonly due to a lack of life inexperience. Too often we hear reports in written and verbal media regarding the extremely high incidence of teenage pregnancy resulting in the death of mother and/or child, and in extreme cases, incarceration of one or both too-young parents. Drug and alcohol abuse is seen in children as young as ten years of age. Drug abuse now includes snorting of household chemicals, pulverizing standard over-the-counter (and prescription) drugs and snorting them. Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst American teens (aged 10-19), next to accidents and homicide. Three million people in the US cry out in emotional pain by "cutting", causing physical injury to themselves as a way of relieving internal emotional agony. Recent statistics report that there are more children in the population affected by divorce than there are children living in households with intact parental partnerships. 35% of our teens are at risk or are overweight (by 25 pounds or more). 20% are obese. It is incredible that very young children and teens alike are now being diagnosed with high blood pressure, dangerously high cholesterol levels, and the beginnings of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and depression, asthma, allergies and ADD/OCD in record numbers. Almost 30% of our teens are diagnosed with eating disorders or other forms of mental or emotional illnesses.
Why? One can entertain many explanations. A record number of families are fractured by divorce. Parents are absent from the home too often. Social, spiritual, role model connections are often sacrificed when the family unit is stressed. Our food sources are sadly depleted from vital nutrients due to additives during processing of our food and the stripping of nature's soil for centuries of over use. Fast food has become a main source of nutrition in the home, in the car, and in schools nationwide. Children have become too busy and over-stressed by well meaning social activities. Our culture has become incredibly media minded, learning the wrong ways to health and happiness. Computers have become too much of a source of our social and intellectual entertainment. Exercise of the mind, body and spirit is becoming extinct as a result.
What to do? Spend more time in a family unit to eat healthy, home cooked meals together. Take a few hours a week to play, take a walk, go to the park, concerts, game nights, etc. Look into community sponsored exercise and recreation courses. Worship together and develop a spiritual foundation to build upon. Contact a holistic nutritionist to set up healthy meal plans and dietary guidelines. Browse your local health food store for healthy choices in food and find holistic health professionals in your area. (Chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, yoga for physical helps; homeopathy, aromatherapy, and flower remedies for mental, emotional and social health are available everywhere.)
A Registered Bach Practitioner will offer supportive consultation and a personal remedy formula. The correct combination of essences will help turn negative moods and emotional states into positive ones. This gradual and subtle change supports one to be "who they truly are", decreases stress, and guides us wonderfully during challenging transitional periods. Self discovery, self-acceptance, increased confidence, and a happier path in life are all possible with flower essences. Consider essences to support the physical changes (self-image) during the teen's years; for the transition from child to adult, and help with fear and apprehension. Your practitioner can offer essences that guide in setting healthier bound-aries in relationships. Essences can help balance anger, feelings of isolation, and even help determine the long-term goals in one's life!
There is no reason for parents and teens to wander through this inevitable and challenging period of life without healthy supports. Call a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner today - and find your healthy balance today!