Adolescence even under the best of circumstances can be a turbulent time .During puberty young ones are assaulted by new feelings and emotions. They face daily pressures from teachers and peers. They are exposed to the relentless influence of TV, movies, the music industry, and the Internet. A United Nations report thus describes adolescence as a period of transition commonly characterized by stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, young ones are often too inexperienced to handle stress and anxiety in a positive way.  Without proper guidance, they can easily fall into destructive forms of behavior. For example, the UN report says; Research shows that the onset of drug abuse often occurs during adolescence or young adulthood. The same can be said for other forms of misbehavior, such as violence   and promiscuous sex.

Parents who dismiss such things as happening only among the poor or certain ethnic groups often prove to be sadly mistaken. The problems young ones are experiencing today cut across economic, social, and racial lines. If you think juvenile delinquent only means a 17- year- old minority male from the inner city whose impoverished   mother is on welfare, you haven’t   been paying attention lately, writes author Scott Walter. Today’s problem child can be white, he can live in a middle – upper – middle – class home, he can be under [far under] age 16, and he can just as easily be a she.

Why, though, are so many young ones take risk? Did not youths of past generations also face challenges and temptations? Yes, but we live in a period that the Bible describes as critical times hard to deal with.  There are circumstances and pressures affecting youths that are unique to this particular time in history. Let us examine some of them.

Help for Today’s Youths
Youths today are growing up in a world that can at times seem frightening. Some of them watch helplessly as their parents separate or divorce. Others see their schoolmates succumb to the perils of drugs and crime. Many face pressure from peers of both genders to get involved in sex.

And nearly all adolescents suffer   occasional periods of feeling misunderstood, lonely and depressed.
What do youths need if they are to cope with the challenges that face them? Children need a firm moral centre, the kind of anchoring that helps them pick appropriate friends, make the right decisions, and view others empathically.

Changes In The Family 
Consider, for example, the changing family landscape. More than a third of American children experience their parents’ divorce before reaching 18, reports the Journal of Instructional Psychology. Similar statistics can be cited from other .Western lands. As their parents’ marital ties dissolve, young ones must often cope with painful emotions. In general says the journal, children who have recently experienced a family dissolution have a more difficult time with academic and social expectation at school than children from intact families or established single-parent or blended families... Additionally, parental divorce often affects the child’s sense of emotional well being and self esteem.’’

The increasing number of women who have entered the work force has also altered the family environment. A study of juvenile crime in Japan observed that it is harder for dual – income families to take care of their children than it is for families with one parent staying at home.

Granted, many families need two incomes simply to provide the necessities of life. Two incomes can also provide young ones with a more comfortable life – style. But there is a down side. Millions of children return from school to an empty house. When parents do arrive, they are often tired and pre – occupied with problems at work. The result. Many teenagers are getting less parenting. We don’t spend time together in my family, one youth lamented.

Many observers feel that this trend does not bode well for young ones. I believe that the parenting trends that have evolved over the last thirty years promote the development of unattached, uncommunicative, learning- impaired, and uncontrollable children, says Dr. Robert Shaw. Parents find.