Not all challenges are visible, physical or easily discussible—which is why emotional and psychological stresses are often overlooked. This section provides insights you'll need to navigate these complex and elusive challenges.
Addressing drug and alcohol peer pressure
We often think that kids pressure other kids into trying tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. But the reality is that kids tend to start using to avoid feeling different or being left out. More
Are they safe at home?
Children experiencing domestic violence live in perpetual fear. In fact, domestic violence and child abuse often go hand in hand. The repercussions of experiencing this can last for years, as children who are exposed to violence and are victims of violence are more likely to become bullies or engage in acts of violence and aggression themselves. More
Disability? What disability?
In the US, up to 8% of youth under 24 have some kind of disability. They may have been disabled from birth. Or have a newly acquired complication. Their disability may be obvious— as in the case of wheelchair users. Or invisible—which includes mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, diabetes, lupus or others. Whatever their situation, most just want to be treated the same as other kids. More
What if parents are using?
More than 1 in 10 children under the age of 18 live with a substance-dependent or substance-abusing parent. Children of addicted parents often have a very limited social life. The lack of a social life is one void that mentors are ideally suited to help fill. More
When body image impacts self-esteem
Body image effects people of all ages. But for adolescents—whose bodies are already undergoing massive changes—it’s especially critical. More
When school is no longer safe
If you are in a school setting, you may have concerns about the school because it's in a dangerous neighborhood or because of the high incidences of fighting, bullying and other sorts of interpersonal violence. More
When the community itself is unsafe
Some communities have organized systems involving police and social workers to respond to youth who are exposed to violence—but many do not. As a caring adult, you can be a powerful preventive influence against gang membership. But be aware that kids are subject to other forces that are hard to resist. More