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"Silence can be deadly." How true this phrase can be. As adults many of us have learned to walk into public successfully hiding the problems that exist at home or within. As adults we also know how hard it can sometimes be to pretend everything is "fine" to others when we have turmoil at home or within. Many common consequences that stem from hiding our problems could be job production going down, weight gained or lost, and our relationships suffering, to name a few.
As educators, counselors, and parents, we must acknowledge that children can also become experts at hiding problems they face. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on how to look for signs that something else might be going on and how to help the student in need. The signs that students may display will explored in further detail throughout this series.
Typical teenage behavioral issues many students face, such as domestic violence, drug abuse, etc., are more common than we think in classrooms today. These issues usually are well hidden by the student due to embarrassment, learning from their family it is "not ok" to discuss familial problems with others, or minimization of the problem by the student due to their lack of knowledge on the issue at hand. Oftentimes a student might realize there is a problem, but they may not be knowledged on how to ask, or where to go for help. You can provide them with these resources.
One can learn to look for "red flags" that a student might exhibit, which should alert us to a possibly more serious issue going on. Once aware that deeper problems may exist, we must educate ourselves at the opportunities we can offer to the student to help them break free from these learning barriers. Teachers can provide this educational material in their classrooms for prevention purposes. With a captured audience, they can provide the information and also the resources on how to obtain help. The teacher has the ability to offer this information to a mass of individuals and thereby not causing possible embarrassment to any specific person who might otherwise be singled out.
Teenager issues such as domestic violence, drug abuse, eating disorders, suicidal ideation will be discussed in further detail in upcoming articles. We will explore each one separately looking specifically at definitions, commonly observed "red-flags" as well as options we have in offering help. Suffering grades or a poor attitude toward school or others may be a sign of something deeper going on at home or within. As adults we can look at the error of our ways to help the younger generation learn how to combat the silence in order to heal.
Looking Deeper into Typical Teenage Behavioral Issues Students Face
In this series you will find information on various teenage student issues that may cause barriers to learning in the classroom.