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Navigating 21st-Century Challenges with Your Teen

Navigating 21st-Century Challenges with Your Teen


Navigating 21st-Century Challenges with Your Teen


Parents of today face the challenging responsibility of raising healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children while being confronted by issues totally unheard of 50 years ago. For example, everyone has a cell phone, and even young children can operate computers before they learn to read. This fast-paced life is made more convenient using modern technology. Entertainment is more accessible and exciting. Social media is everywhere, allowing faster communication and making it possible to be connected regardless of location.

New technologies have not lightened the load for parents so they can have more time for family and relaxation. Instead, they have made the pace faster, the work demands more hectic, the schedules more overloaded. There is one thing that hasn’t changed much—the children. They may be into a lot of innovations these days, but they still have the same needs young people have had for many generations.

Welcome to 21st-century parenting!


Ups and Downs of Present-Day Parenting

Parenting a child in the 21st century is filled with changes brought about by new inventions and conveniences. Many things can be done faster and more efficiently. Many household chores can be accomplished without much effort. For example, foods are easier and faster to prepare with microwaves, so family members can grab and go while eating on the run. While this provides immediate gratification, it can’t substitute for the quality time of staying together at the dinner table to engage in small talk and catch up with each other.

You may find it a relief that your children have stopped whining, “Are we there yet?” in the car because they are too busy with their mobile gadgets, but don’t you feel sad that they aren’t admiring the picturesque terrain? Because the children of today are more interested in playing virtual games or exploring the World Wide Web, they spend less and less time talking to you or interacting with anyone else.

While social media can be beneficial when it comes to connecting with others, it can also leave your teen child open to bullying, sexting, pornography, premature romantic relationships, and identity theft. If your child finds more value in constructing a virtual world filled with robots and other epic characters than doing school work, attending to personal hygiene, or getting enough sleep, then you need to take a closer look at how all this is shaping his or her mind, character, behavior, and future functioning.


The Overwhelming Challenges

As a 21st-century parent, you may find it gratifying to carry out things by just pushing some buttons. However, this convenience may deprive you of the essential joy and satisfaction to be felt when planning, anticipating, connecting, collaborating, and sharing common experiences with and among the family circle. The very core of interpersonal connection can break down when interaction or attending to others is no longer considered important.

Being a responsible parent means making sure your teen gains the life skills to become happy and successful. This can’t be realized if your child’s sense of community is weakened due to lack of connection with the concrete world. In this challenging time, trust is an important factor to function and survive. If your child does not connect and engage with others, he or she may suffer loneliness that can lead to teen depression and anxiety.

You need to take appropriate action if your teen child has become too dependent on external experience, because this can make young people insensitive to their own ideas, thoughts, feelings, needs, and creativity. Caution should be exercised when interrupting activities that provide instant gratification, as this can trigger withdrawal symptoms. It may take a while for your child to readjust to the normal flow of daily life. During the process, he or she may experience grief, irritability, aggressiveness, and painful boredom.


Professional Intervention amid the Innovations

In addition to the benefits of modern innovations that have changed the world, there are also negative consequences. As a thoughtful parent, it is part of your role to weigh the short- and long-term benefits, considering how vulnerable your child’s neurological makeup is and how they are formed by their experiences.

To help develop your child’s sense of resilience, it is important to support and guide him or her in facing the challenges of everyday life. While modern conveniences and innovations can respond to your child’s needs in some ways, too much of these seemingly good things can wreak havoc on your child’s inner self.

The Internet provides some rules for 21st century parents to follow. You can also take action by connecting with the right-fit counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pittsboro, NC. Help is available to transform you into an empowered parent and equip you with the right strategies and tools to navigate the challenges of modern parenting. Call now to request an appointment.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Chatham, Alamance, Durham, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Randolph, Wake, NC
Areas: Pittsboro NC, Gulf NC, Hickory Mountain NC, Hadley NC, Siler City NC, Wilsonville NC, Fearrington NC, Mandale NC, Bear Creek NC, Albright NC
Zip Codes: 27312, 27344, 27207, 27228, 27256, 27559



Gail Gustafson, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 9+) Adolescents and Adults, Individuals, Couples and Families. PTSD/Trauma, EMDR, Adoption, Drug/Alcohol/Substance Abuse addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar, Life Transitions, Grief and Loss, Parenting, Family, couples and marriage counseling.
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare/ Tricare Prime Tricare Select/Extra/Retired, Medicare and Cash (Credit Cards Accepted, HSA and FSA )
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Pittsboro, NC
68 Fayetteville St.
Pittsboro, NC 27312