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Teenagers of the upper classes are often assumed to be at low risk of developing addictions or rebellious behavior, but new studies suggest that these children face pressures of their own.
In affluent neighborhoods, children are often subjected to achievement pressures in academics, sports, and overall lifestyle. These kids often view achievement failures as personal failures, and this can lead to anxiety, bouts of depression, and even substance abuse.
Teens with upper-middle class and upper-class parents are often left alone for several hours each week while parents work or attend social functions. Because of this, affluent children are often emotionally deprived and feel they can only rely on themselves in times of need. Again, this leads to emotional distress and substance abuse.
Regardless of social class, parents need to play an active role in their children’s lives. An action as simple as eating dinner as a family one night a week can vastly improve your teen’s emotional health and family relations. Rebellious behavior should immediately be addressed and any current problems need an intervention, but address the problem as a nurturing parent, not an observer. Parents should also show an interest in their child’s school and keep open communications with teachers. Counselors and educators are often intimidated by affluent parents, so upper-class kids tend to get off the hook much quicker. Keeping the communication lines open with the school will lessen the intimidation factor and increase your chances of being notified in the event of a problem.
Clearly no child, rich or poor, is free from the risks associated with addictions and rebellion. Positive parenting and a strong family structure is the best preventative.