5 Teen Behaviors That MAY NOT Lead to Drug Addiction

A look at healthy teen behaviors vs. unhealthy…and just how video gaming, late nights up, and rebellion MAY NOT be associated to addiction as strongly as we once thought. Plus, a call to parents to “flip your focus” and the 3 keys to developing character that every teen needs.

minute read

More Benign Than We Thought?

Even before your children reach their teen years, you worry about drug and alcohol abuse. We talk with our children about these dangers in grade school and watch for any indication of a problem as we focus on teaching them the dangers of addiction. However, we might not need to worry as much as we thought about some of their quirky behaviors.

Some behaviors can be signals of a deeper mental health issue. Both other behaviors can be healthy, normal teen patterns. Here are some of the more popular associations that MAY NOT be linked to addiction, as we once presumed.

1. Playing Video Games

Video games—a teen’s obsession with these might frustrate parents more than almost anything else. Teens seem to obsess over playing games, ignoring other responsibilities. However, scientific studies have shown several benefits from video games, including improved attention, improved visual processes and a reduction in impulsivity. So lighten up and quit worrying that your child’s obsession will lead to addiction.

2. Staying up All Night

Teens love crazy sleep schedules, especially during the summer and on school breaks. However, parents feel much differently about those quirky schedules. Adults have responsibilities that they need to manage, including work and typical 9-5 hours. Even so, as teens transition to adulthood, they will find that they need rest during regular hours and adapt a more standard schedule.

3. Mild Rebellion and Disrespect

Almost every teen deals with disrespect and rebellion. Young people push your buttons to see how you will react. While this behavior frustrates parents, it won’t lead to drug addiction in and of itself. Instead, teens are learning how to set appropriate boundaries. They struggle with insecurity and want to reassure themselves that you still love them, no matter how they act.

4. Impulsive Behaviors

Impulsivity means that teens will engage in any risky behavior that presents itself, right? Not necessarily. Parental guidance impacts your child’s actions more than you might think, especially when it comes to excessively dangerous actions.

5. Social Anxiety

Studies show that social anxiety is connected to teen maturity as they frequently feel judged and as though everyone is watching them. With time, they should become less self-absorbed and better able to focus on the needs of others.

A Lighthearted Approach to Childcare

Los Feliz Daycare takes a lighthearted approach to raising children and thinks that all parents should do the same. They focus on mindfulness, emotional comfort and being ‘woke.’ The founder, Jason Shapiro, has no children of his own and admits that he knows nothing about kids. Don’t worry, though, the daycare is completely fake, despite more than 106,000 followers on Twitter, including several famous Hollywood stars.

He started the fake daycare after a friend of his was admonished because she sent white bread to school for her child to eat. He decided to pull a prank on his co-workers. When he finally confessed that he had been pranking them, he kept the account just for fun. When another comedian retweeted Shapiro, his following blew up overnight.

The platform lets Shapiro poke gentle fun at do-good parents and exaggerate situations that might trigger the youngest of snowflakes. To paraphrase the founder, everyone wins.

The satire has grown so popular that Shapiro is planning a TV show as a spin off series on Hulu.

Watch for Harmful Behaviors

However, do not ignore any of the following dangerous behaviors, including:

  • Escalating alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Gang-related activity
  • Eating disorders
  • Violence
  • Self-harm or
  • Suicidal ideations

Seek help immediately for any of these issues from professionals.

Flip Your Focus

Instead of focusing on unusual teen behaviors, concentrate on helping young people with behaviors that will actually make a difference in their future. The following three keys can make all the difference in their future:

  1. Integrity: Develop a strong moral foundation.
  2. Compassion: Treating others with kindness and empathy.
  3. Responsibility: Understanding what they are accountable for.
About the author
Tyler is a freelance writer/journalist, with past experience as the head content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. His areas of focus include: parenting, education, social media, addiction, and issues facing teenagers today.
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