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Really Do Teenagers Get Into Trouble Because They Are Bored?
We all experience boredom. It is not a good feeling. Boredom causes various emotions including frustration, sadness and anxiety. This is why many experts identify boredom as a dangerous feeling. Experts from different fields such as educators and psychologists have studied boredom. One thing that has come out clearly about it is its negative effect.
Teens are more vulnerable to boredom. They are over self-conscious. Any form of criticism can easily affect their self-esteem. At this age, they are experiencing different emotional changes. This increases the risk of boredom. Martinez is 13 years old. We wanted to understand her experiences with boredom. ‘I get bored when things are not going well. I feel empty and want to do nothing. Sometimes I cannot explain why I feel bored.” She says. Martinez’s case shows how emotional changes can increase the risk of boredom among teens.
You may wonder, what is so wrong with getting bored? I mean, we all get bored almost every day. The problem is that boredom can put teens in problems. A bored teen is more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Do teenagers get into trouble because they are bored, What Happens When Teens Are Bored?
Studies show that bored teens are more likely to;
- Engage in unhealthy eating behaviors
Before we even focus on teens, let us examine ourselves. What is the one thing that you are likely to do when bored? Is it taking a glass of fruit juice? Eating excess food? Looking for a snack? Taking a soda? These are behaviors that teens are also likely to consider when boredom.
- Be inactive
When bored, we feel less energized. We feel like doing anything. This is exactly what teens feel when bored. The last thing they want is to engage in physical exercises. Some teens would prefer to sleep or just lie on the couch. Other bored teens spend their time watching movies or playing video games. Lack of physical activity increases the risk of illnesses.
- Drug abuse
Bored teens are more likely to engage in drug abuse. Most teens find ways to amuse themselves when bored. Some find themselves using alcohol, smoking tobacco and other illegal drugs. Binge drinking is common among bored youths. One of the risk factors associated with drug abuse is addiction.
Why is Drug Addiction So Bad For Teens?
- First, drug addiction comes with physical dangers to teens. It may lead to injuries which can be self-inflicted or accidental. This can lead to health problems. For example, teens may experience high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm and lung damage. The effect is an overdose that can cause death. Hundreds of teen deaths related to overdone have been reported worldwide. Addiction can also cause withdrawal symptoms when a teen tries to quit drugs.
- Second, addiction has social consequences. It affects the relationships with family and friends. Addicted teens may have challenges fulfilling their responsibilities. Drug addiction can lead to criminal activities. It also increases the risk of being associated with crime. This affects the teen’s relationship with the community.
- Sexual behaviors. Bored teens are more likely to engage in irresponsible sexual behaviors. This is especially true for those who drink alcohol and abuse other drugs. This increases the risk of unplanned pregnancies and STDs. The risk increases when teens have multiple sexual partners.
How To Keep Our Teens Engaged
- Help them decorate their rooms
Encourage your teen to makeover their room. They can arrange it the way they prefer. This includes choosing what color they like for their walls. They can also choose how to arrange the furniture. You don’t have to buy new things for the makeover. Let teens use what is available and creativity to redo their rooms.
- Engage them in safe events
Events such as bike riding and picnics are good. You can also encourage volunteering. This will keep them busy and avoid getting bored. Remind them of social distancing especially with these times of a global pandemic.
- Encourage physical exercises
Experts recommend that teens get at least an hour of physical exercise every day. This is good for their mental and physical health. Simple exercises such as an hour walk, or running can be very helpful. Teens can also utilize YouTube videos for healthier exercises.
- Have a schedule for daily tasks
Instead of engaging teens in any task throughout the day, have a schedule. Let them know when to do what. For example, create time for;
- House chores such as cleaning.
- Time outside.
- Social connections.
- Studying. Having different tasks for the day is known to improve teens’ moods.
Teen boredom increases risky behaviors. But it can also affect academic performance. Teens tend to hate what they think is causing boredom. If they think books or studies are causing boredom, they will be demotivated to learn. This can affect their performance. In short, boredom is dangerous. It is highly likely to get teens into trouble. Adults can help teens keep away from any boredom-related trouble.
Teens can also avoid being bored by ensuring that they are always engaged in healthy activities. Most importantly, we should ensure we are always monitoring our teens. This way, if we notice something wrong, we can intervene as early as possible. Late intervention may be costly or ineffective. Let parents be more engaged in the lives of their children to keep them safe.