“Stick and stones may break my bones; but dirty words will never hurt me,” is one of the biggest lies we tell our teens. Words are like tattooed markers on the developing identities of teens. Even an unwelcome stare of contempt and disgust can shatter the backbone of self-esteem. If we are to create a better world for our children; we must also include their macro environment that largely shapes them. Many times, teens are much more influenced by their peers than they are by family. It is a pivotal age group as many bad habits begin to form in response to the hostile environment of school, friends and bullies. They may find unhealthy coping mechanisms to relieve their stress. This does not make them “troubled” but truthful in their reach for help. Listen to what is not said and find the help they need. As many parents know, kids sometimes open up to strangers more than they do with us, their own parents. Yet, it is to your benefit to find professionals to replace the ill advice they get from others.  

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