Definition of an "At Risk Youth"

Is it tough to be a teenager today? What is an at-risk youth? There are many social experts who study human behavior and argue that today’s kids are under stress as never before. Gang warfare, street stabbings and shootings, proliferation of drugs, binge drinking and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases all make life tough for today’s teens. And the tragic result is that so many young people are caught up in a dangerous lifestyle and place their health and even their life at risk.

How can you prevent your teen from being placed in the at-risk category? Can you stop any problems before they occur or at least become too serious? Here are some factors about teenage behavior. Is your teen involved in any of these situations? If so, the more situations the greater the likelihood they are at-risk.

1. School life. Is your teen failing at school, are their grades dropping and are they in conflict with staff?

2. Family life. Is your teen rebellious? Do they argue often with their parents and/or siblings? Do they threaten to run away or even go missing for periods of time?

3. The law. Is your with authority? Do the police come calling to interview your child about certain incidents?

4. The community. Is your teen a dropout from sporting clubs, the church or other local group activities? Have they abandoned the things which once took pride of place in their life?

5. Unusual behavior. Is your teen prone to lose their cool beyond what might be considered normal? Are they angry and abusive? Do they threaten you or other family members? Have the dropped long-time friendships with their peers?

6. Depression. Is your teen spending long periods of time alone perhaps in their room? Do they speak less and make fewer comments in family conversations? Have they been medically examined for depression? Do they seem listless and disinterested in most things?

7. Sexuality. Is your teen sexually active? Do you know their partner or partners? Is your teen aware of STDs? Is your teen well-informed when it comes to the dangers of unprotected sex?

8. Truthfulness. Have you caught out your teen telling lies? Do they seem secretive and not open and forthcoming? Are they unwilling to give details of where they’ve been or with whom? Do you suspect them of stealing from home?

9. Fear. Are you afraid of your teen? Are you worried that what you say or do will cause them to explode and use bad language? Has your teen threatened you or your family?

10. Self-belief. Does your teen seem to lack confidence? Are they without motivation for most or many things? Do they have an “I don’t care” attitude to life? Have they dropped their bundle?

The above points cover most of how a troubled teen behaves. If your child fits into some of these categories, it is possible your teen is at risk. Now is the time to intervene. Talk to your family doctor and seek professional advice. Do not let the situation drift. The health of your teen may be at risk.

 
 
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