Tag: adolescence

Men’s Health, Facts About Adolescence and More

Men’s Health

When it comes to prevention and early detection, men’s health often takes a back seat in comparison to women’s health. However, statistics show that men are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke, lead unhealthy lifestyles and have a shorter lifespan. So, this needs to change!

Men are more likely than women to put off routine medical check-ups and delay seeing a doctor for symptoms. Fortunately though, many health conditions are preventable or treatable if found early. The most common conditions that affect men include heart disease and testicular, prostate and colon cancer.

Mental health is another common issue that is often overlooked. Women are twice as likely as men to receive a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Yet, men make up an average of six out of every eight suicides every day in Australia. It’s just as important for men as it is for women to break down the stigma. In addition, talk to loved ones or medical professionals if you are not feeling like yourself.

It’s important to get any unusual symptoms checked out and seeing the doctor for regular check-ups. But, it’s also equally as important to eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol intake, quit smoking and exercise regularly.

Interesting Facts about Adolescence

Puberty occurs at a different time for everyone, but usually between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls, and between 9 and 14 for boys.

Most teens don’t get enough sleep. That one might be obvious, but teens need more sleep than you probably think. In fact, they need about eight to 10 hours per night to function best.

Social media and mobile phone usage has increased drastically over the last few years. In 2012, only 41 per cent of teenagers had a smartphone, compared to 89 per cent of teens in 2018.

Migraine Stick from Mario’s Range

Mario’s Migraine Stick blends a beautiful combination of three 100% essential oils which include Bergamot, Peppermint and Vetiver. These three oils are traditionally used in aromatherapy to relieve stress, tension and pain. Jojoba oil is present in this blend, meaning its light texture is perfect for you to use on facial skin along with other benefits. The Migraine Stick has been packaged so you can carry it on you at all times, for use whenever you feel a pesky headache coming on. To use, simply rub a small amount of the combination into the temples. Available at Calanna Wholehealth Pharmacies.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Hang Out: Friendships in Adolescence

As your child becomes a teenager, friendships will become more important to them. They enjoy spending time with their friends and having fun, but friends become almost like a personal support group during adolescence.

Friends give teenagers a sense of belonging and security, a feeling of being valued, and a way to experiment with different identities, roles and values. Who knows, these friendships may eventually lead to their first relationship, which is another big milestone. As a parent, you want your teen to build healthy friendships they can rely on. It can be difficult to see your child struggling to make friends, or encounter problems in existing friendships.

Helping your Teen Build Friendships

Social skills – teach your teen how to have a good conversation. Get into the habit of chatting about topics they find interesting, whether it be TV shows, music or sport. Learning how to make small talk will be useful when it comes to meeting new people.

Support them – not everyone likes to socialise in the same way, so if your teen prefers to socialise over a yummy meal, during a walk or online, support that. Remind them that a good friendship takes time to develop, and show support if they are experiencing problems with their friend.

Encourage them to spend time with friends – if your child is asking to have a friend over after school, say yes. When the friend is over, be welcoming and friendly, and ensure siblings don’t barge in on them.

Get into the community – encourage your teen to volunteer or find a part-time job. Working in a place with other young employees or volunteers can help your child find friends and build job skills for the future.

Go through your own experiences – think back to your own teenage years. How did you make friends? Did you encounter any problems during those friendships? Explaining your own experiences to your teenager can give them a bit of insight.

Where to Make Friends

School – this is an obvious one. Most teenagers spend at least six hours per day at school, so it’s a great place to start.

Extracurricular activities – an after-school activity can help your teenager meet others with similar interests, whether it be dance, sports or an art class.

Clubs – many schools offer a variety of clubs, usually meeting after school or during lunch breaks. Common options include those in STEM, music or visual art. Your child’s school may also offer a yearbook committee or book club.

Online – given that they are being safe while they are online, internet friends can be great for your teen. Forums, online gaming and social media groups can help your teen find friends online.

All these sudden changes in adolescence can be just as confusing to your child as they are to you. While teens gravitate more towards their friends during their teenage years, remember that they still need you; even if they don’t necessarily show it.

Read more tweens and teens blogs here. 

 

5 TIPS FOR HAVING THE PERIOD TALK WITH YOUR DAUGHTER

5 TIPS FOR HAVING THE PERIOD TALK WITH YOUR DAUGHTER

I’m not sure who dreads “the period” talk more – daughters or their parents. When it’s finally time to sit down with your daughter and talk about puberty and menstruation, everyone may feel a little awkward at first. However, if you keep a few things in mind, you can empower her to have everything she needs to get through this major transition in her life.

Use these 5 tips when communicating the basics to get her through her first cycle:

1. Research and prepare

Puberty happens over the course of a few years, so it’s wise to begin the conversation with your daughter well before she gets her first period. This will help alleviate any embarrassment she may feel when the time comes. If you start the conversation early enough, she’ll understand what’s happening and be prepared. Then, you can build on that understanding over time to make sure she feels confident entering puberty and her post-puberty years.

Also, be ready to answer any questions she may have. While you can’t anticipate every single question she’ll ask about her changing body, the best tampons to use and reproduction, you can do a bit of initial research on your own to be informed. The more you refresh your own knowledge of the menstrual cycle, the more easily you’ll be able to navigate the conversation.

2. Let her know she’s not alone

 Mothers can certainly relate to getting your first period and all of the scary, confusing and isolating feelings that come along with it. Chances are, your daughter will have friends that haven’t gotten theirs yet, so she’s likely feeling very vulnerable and “different” than her peers. As her mum, you can provide valuable insight and reassurance by making sure she knows that this is something every young woman goes through, including you.

If you’re a dad navigating this conversation, you have unique power to break the stigma surrounding men and menstruation. Stay engaged and don’t back away. Do some research together and she’ll feel less alone and you’ll help her see that there are plenty of people who have the same questions and feelings she has.

3. Utilise tools and resources

In the age or smartphones, laptops, tablets and unlimited data, there are infinite resources available to help you have “the period” talk with your child. Search for informative videos, blogs, research and even medical professionals online who can help fill in the gaps. These tools can not only teach you and your daughter about what to expect; they can also help determine if she’s experiencing symptoms of PMS or other related complications, which may save you a trip to the doctor.

Have the right products on hand as well. There are plenty of beginner pads and junior tampons available that make it easy for girls to find what works for them. If she sees the unlimited options, she’ll feel more comfortable knowing every woman’s cycle is different.

4. Explain the purpose of your period

I think every woman can relate to feeling frustrated and inconvenienced by her period from time to time. Your daughter will likely feel it, too, especially as she’s just getting started. However, there’s obviously much more going on with your daughter’s body than a monthly disruption to her routine. Sometimes, it can help to explain why women have periods at all – ultimately, women have periods so they can have babies and produce new life.

Explaining the big picture of menstruation can sometimes help relieve some angst and frustration surrounding her first cycle.

5. Be patient

 Finally, be patient and loving with your child as she learns how to navigate this transition. She probably will not know how to handle or even identify all of the changes she’s going through – hormonal, physical and emotional.

Be patient with yourself and your partner as well. You’re about to be the parent of a teenager, and that’s intimidating! It’s not uncommon to be a little clumsy at first during conversation. Just remember that ultimately, you are your daughter’s biggest advocate and she will rely on you to help get her through this.

Helping our kids through the many changes they’ll go through during their life is both difficult and rewarding. It’s one of the greatest joys and challenges we face as parents. Remember, as a mum or dad, you are the go-to cheerleader, resource and friend for your kids, which is a pretty special place to be.

Story Jenny Hart

The Importance of Mental Health in Teenagers

THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH FOR TEENAGERS

Mental health is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. With half of all mental health conditions in adulthood emerging by the age of 14, it is more important than ever to start a conversation about them, especially with teenagers. Unfortunately, while this is so important, there is still a stigma around these issues. So, let’s talk about it.

What Mental Health Issues Affect Teens?

While there are a number of different mental health issues, some common ones include:

Anxiety disorders – Excessive worrying about or overthinking everyday matters, feeling extremely self-conscious and phobias. People with anxiety disorders may also experience panic attacks.

Depression – Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety and/or emptiness, usually accompanied by a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Eating disorders – Categorised by disordered eating symptoms leading to a distorted body image, intense fear of gaining weight, restricting food intake and over-exercising.

What Causes Mental Illness?

Mental health is multilayered, and determined by a variety of factors. Here are just a few:

School or work stress – Being under a lot of pressure at school or work can cause teens to become overwhelmed. They may also struggle figuring out their career path or if they are being bullied.

Relationships – Problems within a relationship can make teens feel confused, hurt and upset – more so when the relationship turns emotionally or physically abusive.

Health – Dealing with ongoing health issues, such as a chronic illness or a disability, can take a toll on their happiness and may cause worries about their future.

Social media – While social media offers many upsides, popular trends and viral posts can give an unrealistic expectation of what their life, body or career should be like. Think about those Instagram models with thousands of followers and seemingly ‘perfect’ lives.

Other factors include substance abuse, social issues, trauma, losing someone close to them and more. Genetics may be at play too.

Signs that Something May Be Off

Many young people feel down sometimes. It’s perfectly normal, especially with all those hormones at play; but sometimes, there may be something bigger happening.

Signs include changes in sleep or energy level, changes in appetite, an out-of-character irritability, lack of interest in fun activities or making self-deprecating comments. If your teen is telling you about their ongoing worries, shutting themselves off or simply not acting like themselves, it’s a good sign that it’s time to seek help.

How You Can Help

You can help your teen tackle their worries by letting them know they can always talk to you, making arrangements with their school to put less stress on them and seeing a health professional. Don’t be too quick to take their phone away, as many teens chat with their friends as a coping mechanism – but encourage them to disconnect every once in a while.

75 per cent of people who receive treatment experience notable improvements. Understand that there is help out there for your child, and remind them that they are never alone in their struggles, and that they are always loved.

Helpful Resources

www.headspace.org.au

www.beyondblue.org.au

www.mindblank.org.au

www.ruok.org.au

WHAT IS PEER PRESSURE?

WHAT IS PEER PRESSURE?

Peer pressure refers to doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do for the purpose of feeling accepted by your peers. It may influence teenagers to dress a certain way, listen to the same music or have a similar hairstyle as their friends. However, it can also influence them negatively, pushing them to drink alcohol, skip class, take drugs or engage in sexual activities when they may not want to.

Peer pressure can be direct, as in someone telling you what to do. However, it can also be indirect; for instance, your group of friends might do certain activities together that you’re unlikely to do outside of the group. It’s also common to put pressure on yourself in order to fit in.

A big part of going through adolescence is discovering who you are. It’s normal for teens to compare themselves to their peers as they consider how they wish to be, or they simply want to feel included.

You can help your child manage peer pressure by building up their confidence, keeping lines of communication open, suggesting ways to say no and giving them a way out by letting them know you can always come pick them up if they’re feeling uncomfortable.