Monday, 18 May 2015

I Just Don’t Know What To Do: 5 Coping Skills For Teens

Onyeka is a 16 year old from Orange Park, FL. She loves running, meeting new people, and reading. Onyeka loves making friendship bracelets, she one day hopes to become an entrepreneur and sports medicine physician.
 “Help! I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place!” At first one may think you literally mean that you are in physical danger and need help, but what this commonly used phrase means is that you’re stuck in a situation where it seems that you lose regardless of what decision you choose, hence, “a rock and a hard place”. This phrase is used for extreme situations, not just your everyday pit for pat “problems”, as in whether to order the fish or chicken or wear striped or solid. No, this is for the cases in which the consequence of your choice may impact your life or someone else’s profoundly. Usually, in these situations, a number of bad decisions led you to one ultimate predicament. Parents, you have many stresses that cause you to feel like this, like, your job, money, and TEENS! I know as teens we deal with issues where we just don’t know what to do. Though many teen issues are self-inflicted, due to numerous bad choices, we need to know there is a way to get through the hardship and know we chose the right decision without losing our hair in the process.
Through my 16 years of life I have come across two types of situations: Impulsive and Impending. An impulsive situation is the case where the quickest way to get out of a rough problem is to choose the, you guessed it, impulsive choice. These are usually the problems that seem to come out of the blue. “Well, what’s wrong with this?” you may ask. The problem with this is that most people’s impulse is the wrong choice. Just last summer, I found myself in a similar situation. I was driving with my permit with someone under 21 (bad choice #1) when I decided I wanted to practice my parking skills. As I turned to enter the parking spot, my sister urged me to stop and reverse because I was obviously too close to the car parallel to the parking spot. I didn’t listen (bad choice #2) and rear-ended the car. We fled the scene thinking we were home free, but to our astonishment a police officer arrived at our door 45 minutes later. Though I knew I should have stayed at the scene with a little urging, I actually let someone else’s impulsive decision ruin my driving record.
Impending situations are the opposite of Impulsive. These are the problems you know you’ll have to face sometime in the future, such as for parents dealing with rebellious teens and their actions. How do you deal with your teen that just told you they’re pregnant or got someone else pregnant? Do you kick them out, force them to give the kid up, have an abortion? What if they committed a crime? Flunk out of school? Teens, you know you make wrong decisions all the time like running from the cops, and hanging out with the wrong crowd, though many of them peer pressure related, you know you have to face your consequences one day, whether it’s a court date or facing an aggravated teacher. The day will come, but will you be ready?
Now you have an impossible situation and you just don’t know what to do. Whether its impulsive or impending, here’s a start to dealing with your problem:
1.    Breathe
Relax, calm down. It’s easy to make impulsive decisions in a hyped up state, but if you calm down and clear your head the right choice will come to you.
2.    Don’t procrastinate
If you start weighing your options now and consider the pros and cons, you’re more likely to make the right choice.
3.    Think long term
Think, can this decision come back to bite me in the future? Choose the decision to fix your problem, not make it worse.
4.    Ask for advice
If you can, ask for help. Ask a friend, teacher, parent that’ll give you clear unbiased answers. Your judgment may be clouded and two heads are always better than one.
5.    Stay positive
Be optimistic! Hope for the best results, and be prepared for the worst. Don’t let the situation overcome you; it can possibly make the situation worse.
In life we will run into tough situations- it’s inevitable. We can’t control that, but what we can control is how we deal with them, we can run or we can face them head on. Though the consequences may be harsh, remember that when you stop and think, the right decision will come to you.