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Warning signs for parents of teens

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With growing statistics of adolescent and teen suicides, we thought it might be a good idea to make you aware of some of the leading warning signs that may help you save your child's life. We have compiled below some early warning signs to watch for in your child. We hope you find this helpful and a guide as to what to look for in your child's behavior.

1. Self Harm - Be aware of what type clothing your child is wearing. Note long sleeves and long pants when the weather calls for other type of clothing normally. Indiscreetly look for cuts or bruises. This could be a pre-cursor to worse harm if not addressed

2. Solitude - One of the more noticeable classic symptoms of depression. Take note of how long your child is in his or her room after school and make note to check on them and give a knock and just ask if they are alright. This also will show the child you care about how they feel. This could later open a door for futhur communication with your child.

3. Eating Habits - Note if your child has a sudden change in appetite. Eats more or less. This also could be an underlying sign of problems. Offer them something else and do not force them to eat what is there. This also shows you as a parent care about them

4. Peers - Another warning sign to look for. Friends? How many friends does your child have. Also keep watch on this. Be feim but, allow your child to have friends. Also allowing them to gather at a friends house where you know the other parent and have met them face to face and know their child. This will allow your child to feel just a little bit of freedom while still having a pretty good hold on them.

5. On-line games (radical) This is one of the biggest concerns for parents right now. Children come home, get right on the computer for hours and hours non stop. Games like these are not considered games that we should be allowing our children to play. If this can't be stopped, then set limitations and stick to them. This is very hard to set for teens. This is now being considered an addiction. Find a way to get to a middle zone, where you and your child are happy with the times.

Please note: There are many more signs of trouble that are more or less milder to severe. Please seek some early help for your child. Most importantly (especially those that come from a broken home) find some quality time for your children. Set aside one night a week as a rant night. Know your childs thoughts and where they are going with them. "Rant Night" is a perfect night to get things out in the open and let your child know your are there for them unconditionally. This is very important. We here at eHealth hope this can help you in your road to good parenting.
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First Helper redshorts7

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replied June 9th, 2009
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This is a great post..Especially with summer here and school is out the kids have too much time on their hands to get into trouble..kd
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replied September 1st, 2009
This is lame. Online games are not inappropriate for a teen, usually. They are usually playing MMORPG's or things of the like, which are harmless and similar to console video games. Also, if your teen is beginning to shy away from you or spend alone time, it's because being alone is an important factor in finding out who you are as an adult and allows you to sort through your problems and accomplishments with privacy and using their own logic and a problem solving skills.
As for self-mutilation, I think that is wrong and is usually caused by a child or teen feeling like they can't trust their parents when they need help. My little 13 year old sister started cutting and has no bond whatsoever with my parents. She is afraid to talk to them about her growing body because they have decided to remain ignorant to sex and drugs and threaten in response to the topics being mentioned. "If you have sex, I'll kill you hahaha" "If I catch you smoking, I'm going to make you smoke a whole pack" etc, etc.

I don't know. Coming from a teenager, I think your teens would appreciate it more if you spoke to them, person to person, and let emotions show. They are people, just like you, and want to be talked to like a person, not a "grumpy" teen, a stupid kid, or a robot.
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Users who thank guest80508 for this post: gaby50 

replied September 23rd, 2009
I'm a teen who went through a short term depression period, and also a kid who played online games, and i just want to say this

Yes, if your child has some or all of this symtoms, and then is playing video games for all hours of the day, missing school to play, or dropping out of activites to play, then you should definiately be careful.

BUT being a player, and knowning a lot of people PERSONALLY who play online games, a majority of players are NOT depressed people. in fact, these days, gamers come in all shapes and sizes, and games have little to nothing to do with depression or violence in real life. most of the gamers I know wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone themselves.

I have actually found my boyfriend though an online game, and I couldn't be happier with him. a lot of the time games get bad wraps because you only hear the stories about the people that end up hurting themselves because of them, but online games are actually a great way to meet people and to relax.

It has to do with the person really. if your child is already not right in the head, already has violent behavour, then video games that are violent or video games that exculde them from the real world, are not good for them. but it is NOT the video games that effect the person. It's the person letting the video game effect them

And on a note of depression. the WORST thing a parent can do is sneak around like you're implying they should do. When I was going through my depression it just annoyed me more when my mom would act all suspicious.
She'd ask me about my long sleeves. I have never cut myself and never would, but when she implied that she thought I might be it upset me even more.
and when she'd say stuff like 'when are you going to go out and get out of your room?' I'd just get angry with her and tell her to basically f off.

THE BEST thing for a parent to do if you supect your child is depressed or feeling down, is to tell them that. Ask them how they're feeling, if they want to talk about something. If they say no, then don't pressure them, but let them know that you're there, and that you are worried about them

"I don't know. Coming from a teenager, I think your teens would appreciate it more if you spoke to them, person to person, and let emotions show. They are people, just like you, and want to be talked to like a person, not a "grumpy" teen, a stupid kid, or a robot. "

daslautlacht has said it perfectly. It was when my mom told me that she was worried about me and showed me emotion, that I finally opened up and told her all the stuff I had been feeling and that had been getting me down.

Please parents, coming from another teenager, DON'T BE SNEAKY! it just makes us madder.

And the alone thing that daslautlacht mention. I completely agree with that too. when I turned 17 I wanted nothing more but to move out of the house because I was so ready to be on my own and away from my parents. I wanted to find out about myself, wanted to be my own person, and I felt trapped where I was.

it is not unusual for a teen to feel like they need to get away, so if your teen starts spending more and more time away from the house, or in their room, don't worry about it. they are just looking to be their own person. Believe me, they WILL come back to you. You just need to let them open their wings and see the world themselves, become their own person.
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replied September 28th, 2009
help
Im a teenager and ive read threw this and it sounds like me the things they say
i cut my self non stop
i shut myself in my room and dont come out
i come home drunk just to get rid of memories
and ive tried to commit sucide
but the thing is is that my parents dont care , ive tried to tell them i cut and they said i was stupid and they just take the piss of the way i look
i come from a broken home and i havent seen my real father in a few years my mum has re married to a man who is the main reason i destroy myself so much ive tried to stick a toothbrush down my thoart to be sick because of what he said ive taken drugs (coccanie) to try and kill my self but my parents dont care they dont talk about how im feeling they chocie to ignore it like its not there which makes me think that im nothing to them something they didnt want which pushes me over the edge even more :'(
can anyone help ?
p.s i cant talk to my parents because it turns into an agurement and its always me in the wrong
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replied October 8th, 2009
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Charlottie,
Please call your local child protective services department immediately. You need love and attention. If you aren't getting it there, it awaits you somewhere. Call today and take the first step forwardard...no looking back ok?

God Bless

Faded Rose
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replied August 9th, 2010
"BUT being a player, and knowning a lot of people PERSONALLY who play online games, a majority of players are NOT depressed people. in fact, these days, gamers come in all shapes and sizes, and games have little to nothing to do with depression or violence in real life. most of the gamers I know wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone themselves.

It has to do with the person really. if your child is already not right in the head, already has violent behavour, then video games that are violent or video games that exculde them from the real world, are not good for them. but it is NOT the video games that effect the person. It's the person letting the video game effect them"

She's got a point, games aren't the problem. I may get into the game and be competitive, but truthfully, I'm more relaxed when I play.

And she's right by saying if you are already messed up and violent, maybe violent games aren't best. And violent games don't make people violent. It's really the environment they live in that affects them.

(Old thread but that is just my opinion that I feel I need to add)
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replied October 14th, 2013
I hope that young lady is ok. I have a teenager who cuts and I have been trying to find a counselor for her all day. Left messages and none have called me back.....
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