The Pressures of Growing Up

As they mature into young adults, teens often hear phrases like, “You have it so easy now compared to when I was young,” and, “The world is at your feet! What are you waiting for?” Even well-meaning parents looking to motivate their children may find themselves waxing on these ideas when they see their teen hesitating or becoming insecure. Some parents may even remember their own parents giving them the same talks – perhaps resulting in similar feelings of anxiety. No matter how badly parents might want to empower their children to be independent, these sorts of phrases can actually hinder their confidence; and with today’s academic, economic, and social pressures, teens often feel backed into a corner by how they perceive their parent’s – and the world’s – expectations. This can manifest itself in a wide spectrum of ways, from displays of neediness and fear to aggressively pushing others away and experimenting with negative behavior. It’s important for parents to identify the differences between these modes of self-expression so they can find the ways to best support their children.

Thankfully, the internet is a wealth of information in how to get started on creating new and improved connections with growing teenagers. Anxiety BC has a very informative webpage on how to help anxious teens and children, HelpGuide recently posted a thorough and helpful guide for parents with depressed teens, and there are even websites for teens, by teens, to help them get through this tough stage in life. And, of course, Dr. Clatch himself is an expert on teen issues and has writtenseveral articles on teen depression, anxiety, and stress, all of which can be found on our website.

Some behavior, however, is so extreme that parents may not be able to help their child on their own. It is important to know when it is time to seek therapy for your child. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s behavior and would like to set up an appointment to speak with a mental health professional, please call our Glenview-based office at (847) 730-3042.


Dr. Michael Clatch, Psy. D
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