Common Issues Facing Teens

BBC — Eight major issues teenagers everywhere struggle with

Common Issues Facing Teens

Got a problem, any problem, you need a bit of help with? This week on The Surgery on Radio 1, we're throwing open the phone lines to any problem you want to discuss. Anything at all.

During the show's Wednesday night slot we've dealt with a lot of different issues that affect a lot of different people, but there are some issues that will probably affect us all, that we all need to deal with at some point in our lives.

Growing up can be tough but there is help out there — even if it's just knowing your friends (and millions of strangers) are going through the same thing you are.

We're sure you'll have struggled with at least one of these eight common dramas at one point in your life.

Throughout life, friends and partners come and go. Some don't take much getting over while others will rip your heart out and leave you crying your eyes out.

Guys tend to hold it in, they tend to keep in the pain

The Script

Heartbreak is hard and everyone goes through it at some point, even A-list stars who some people might think have a perfect life.

«I tell you now, you can have the strongest man in the world — your Conor McGregors, your baddest man on the planet — and they all have dark moments,» The Script told us when they visited Radio 1 as part of Live Lounge Month 2017.

«They all have the bravado but in their dark moments I'm sure they all wish they were able to express their feelings.»

And they think things can be worse for men when it comes to dealing with the end of relationship.

«Guys tend to hold it in, they tend to keep in the pain, they tend to keep in all the emotion that they're feeling,» they say.

Instagram, Snapchat and are essential to our everyday lives but they can also be a major source of stress and for some, a place where bullying is at its worst.

If you ever feel that pressure just, I know it's hard, but don't look at your phone

Rita Ora

But one thing to remember if you're having a problem on a social network is that you can always switch it off and walk away (virtually speaking).

«We’re all connected so the pressure's really always intensified,» Rita Ora told Radio 1 recently.

«I think if you ever feel that pressure just, I know it's hard, but don't look at your phone.»

She says that if you need to make steps in your settings to make your life a little easier, then just do it.

«I know you have options now to take comments off and things that, so I think if that is what's bothering you then take the comments off and post what you feel.»

3. Starting a new school or college is peak stress for anyone

Whether starting a new school, sixth form or university, it's going to be a stressful experience. No one s jumping into the unknown, no matter how many times you're told you're going to be just fine.

Don't worry if you don't feel everything's sorted after the first few days

Dr Radha

Radio 1's Dr Radha says every new student needs to remember that they are not on their own and everyone else is in the same position they are.

«It takes time to settle in so don't worry if you don't feel everything's sorted after the first few days,» she says.

«Talk to someone your teacher, parent, brother or sister if you have any worries about your new school — it helps to talk it through.»

4. A lot of people talk about gender identity, but it can still be super confusing

LGBTQ+ rights, transgender visibility and the rise of pansexual and non-binary people has made gender and sexuality a much more common thing for people to talk about.

I want to encourage conversation around a topic that’s difficult to tackle

Olly Alexander

But just because you hear about it more, doesn't mean it's any easier to understand when it is troubling you.

Ally Alexander from Years & Years is one of pop music's most outspoken advocates of LGBTQ+ rights, and he made a documentary for BBC 3 earlier in 2017 to bring some of the issues teens go through into the spotlight.

«I want to encourage conversation around a topic that’s difficult to tackle,» he told NME when he launched the documentary.

«As queer people, we’re used to the narrative that you’re in the dark in the closet, then you come out – which can be a traumatic process,» he added.

«Once that’s over, there’s a pressure to prove to everybody how happy and successful you can be and that you aren’t scarred and damaged.

«No one’s saying being gay gives you mental health issues – it’s growing up in a world that makes you feel you’re wrong.»

5. And you'd think getting a good night's sleep would be easy enough

Sleep isn't just quite a nice thing to do at the end of the day, it's incredibly important for our physical and mental health. So when it goes wrong, it can be a nightmare (quite literally) — just ask Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber, all of whom have admitted to suffering from insomnia.

Sleep is absolutely vital for our physical and mental wellbeing

Dr Radha

«There are lots of reasons why we sometimes find sleeping difficult that range from having an irregular bed time routine to low mood or anxiety,» says Radio 1's Dr Radha.

«Sleep is absolutely vital for our physical and mental wellbeing — it's a time when our bodies and brains rest and maintain themselves.

«Worry, stress and anxiety can cause poor sleep. So try to get your worries your head by writing them down, talking to someone well before bedtime and doing something relaxing in the evening so you help your mind settle.»

6. You can guarantee you'll get spots at the worst possible moment

There is nothing worse than having something go wrong on your actual face. Whether it's acne, a rash or any other blemishes, it's always a massive NO.

I had bad skin when I was younger and that was always my insecurity

Miley Cyrus

But even the most beautiful and famous people in the world have woken up with a huge spot on their nose or a big red mark across their cheeks.

Kim Kardashian has admitted to struggling with psoriasis, Emma Stone says the pressures of Hollywood brought on stress-related acne, while Lorde shared her acne trauma with her followers on Instagram.

And it can have a big impact on confidence as well.

«I had kind of bad skin when I was younger and that was always my insecurity,» Miley Cyrus told Elle magazine in 2014.

«I went through a time where I was really depressed.

«I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down.»

She advises fans to leave it to the professionals and not to 'mess up your face' by popping spots yourself.

If you've never looked in the mirror and thought badly about what you've seen — WHAT'S THE SECRET?

It’s always going to be a battle in my head

Sam Smith

For most people, finding flaws in your own appearance is a common problem, for people including Sam Smith, who has lost a huge amount of weight since the release of his debut album.

«I still feel pressured to look a certain way,” he told the NME in 2015. “For women, the pressure in this industry is horrendous and it’s got to stop. But it’s the same for guys, even though they won’t speak about it.»

But even after making major changes, he admits he is still not happy with his own appearance.

«Just because I’ve lost weight doesn’t mean that I’m happy and content with my body

«It’s always going to be a battle in my head.”

As long as you keep sex safe, it's fun for everyone involved.

Many stars, such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and more have spoken openly about the importance of safe sex.

Harry Styles has as well, revealing how he was once worried he could be on a fast-track to fatherhood.

«The first time I had sex I was scared I got the girl pregnant. That was despite the fact we were safe,» he told OK magazine in 2012.

«Luckily we were fine… I would never risk not wearing a condom; it's too much of a risk.»

Listen to The Surgery on Radio 1 at 9pm on Wednesday

Radio 1 on , or follow on Instagram at BBCRadio1, and on at @BBCR1.


10 Common Teenage Problems And Solutions | Teenage Social Problems

Common Issues Facing Teens

Teenagers face real concerns, between 13 and 19 years of age, on a daily basis as this is the most awkward growth stage of their lives. During this time, teens are exposed to some overwhelming external and internal struggles.

They go through, and are expected to cope with hormonal changes, puberty, social and parental forces, work and school pressures, and so on.Many teens feel misunderstood. It is vital that their feelings and thoughts are validated and that the validation comes from their parents.

Parents need to approach their children, who have been dealing with teenage growth issues, carefully and in a friendly manner to discuss the concern(s).

The common teenage problems that teenagers face today are usually related to:

  • Self-Esteem and Body Image
  • Stress
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Cyber Addiction
  • Drinking and Smoking
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Underage Sex
  • Defiant Behaviors
  • Peer-Pressure and Competition

Not surprisingly, all of these common teenage problems are connected to one another, in some way. However it does not mean that having one would lead to the other.

Following are some of the important steps to build a healthy relationship with the teens and handle the concerns effectively. None of the steps/solutions work in isolation and a combination of some or all will be most effective.

Early Identification

Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, declined interest in normal and healthy activities, dropping grades in school and college, and preferred isolation are all early signs of depression.

Increased demands to perform, competing with friends etc may also lead to unwanted stress.

Being vigilant towards these signs at an early stage may help to block/stop further damage and guide them towards healthy ways of dealing with their concerns.

Understanding Transition

It is crucial that teens feel validated in their feelings and thoughts because what they are going through is a real part of their lives. Parents and guardians should not judge or criticize their feelings or thoughts.

Being sensitive towards teens and the fact that they are exposed to a range of emotions (puberty being one of the most important experiences) is an important step in understanding their transition. Anger, confusion, jealousy, non-compliant attitudes, dis towards their parents or elders, secrecy/high need for privacy etc.

are few examples of emotions or feelings they have. Defiant behaviors results from their inability to appropriately deal with the intensity of these emotions and aggravate common teenage problems

Transferring Knowledge

One of the concerns that stems from curiosity and the need for independence or a sense of control can be experimenting with underage consumption of alcohol or drugs, physical intimacy or teenage pregnancy. It is often believed that educating the child about sex will lead to them wanting to experiment. However, that is a myth.

Talking to your children will enable them to be informed and will remove the “taboo” from the topic. It’s no secret that the level of exposure teens have today, as a result of the Internet is unmatched.

Cyber addiction is the fastest growing problem amongst other common teenage problems. Parents should talk to their teens and make them conscious of cyber safety – and, how to protect themselves from Internet.

Parents may create a list of rules that clearly say when to use the internet, which sites they should visit and what safety measures they should follow and off course clearly discussing “WHY “for the same. However, timely, healthy, factual and regular conversation about these topics will help them make informed choices.


the teen’s opinion or decisions will enhance their self-confidence and self esteem. Most youths’ ability to develop positive self-esteem is affected by family life and parental criticism. Making respect a mutual virtue will help in developing a stronger bond between parents and the child.


Every parent has a different outlook towards parenting. A healthy relationship between the child and parents is the most essential during the teenage years. Communication is the key to developing a rapport, which results in the child feeling comfortable talking to their parents.

Finding the correct balance between being a friend and a parent is important as this will help develop the required rapport. For e.g.

teens facing body image concerns being too fat, too skinny, too tall or too short will benefit from balanced approach towards parenting, which may stem from good rapport.

Trust and Acceptance

Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Spying, cross questioning/checking with friends or doubting will hamper the bond, leading to defiant behaviors such as lying, stealing, hiding and being disrespectful. It is important to accept your teens as they are and to build trust in them. This will help them trust and accept themselves as well as those in their immediate environment.

Communication and Safe Space

A clear communication channel opens up many possibilities. This not only enhances the relationship but also helps the child confide in the parents about sensitive topics bullying, peer pressure and abuse.

Parents need to feel free to talk to their teens about certain common teenage problems dating, sex, drugs, and alcohol. It is this inability to discuss the good and bad points that drives them to take wrong steps curiosity.

Effecting use of communication will foster building of trust, respect and acceptance between the teen and the parent.

Seeking Help

With the changing times seeking professional help has became a common practice and more accessible. It is important to empower the teen with the information about seeking help even in the absence of the parent. It is equally important for a parent to be aware of his or her own needs and limitations and being open to seek or accept help.

Concerns that teenagers are faced with today are multifarious but interrelated in many cases. Parents, teachers and other guardians should be well aware of the concerns that today’s teenagers are facing and be prepared to mitigate them to their best abilities.

Be their best friend and guide them without being demanding. The years between 13-19 years are usually classified as turbulent times as the children are going through many growth changes, physically and mentally.

One of the best options is to approach these concerns with empathy and love.

Parents have to find innovative ways to connect with their children and build a relationship to affectively support them during this difficult phase of growing up.

Kruti Shah, School Counselor

JBCN International School Parel


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Posted on: Thursday,2017,Aug,Thu
common teenage problems, Common teenage problems and their solutions,


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