Test Your Teen

Young people, like adults, have better days and worse days. Even so, they typically stay toward the middle between better and worse and seldom drift very far toward worse. They have many more up days than down, with the down days being reasonably described as feeling sad or just bummed out.

The point is that as dramatic as youngsters can sometimes be, they do not normally get seriously down or depressed; and when they do, it does not last more than a few days. They rebound fairly quickly.

The same holds for their behavior and adjustment. They keep it between the lines most of the time; and if they get a little out of bounds, it is unusual and temporary.

The following statements describe a well-adjusted young person. Although any youngster is unlikely to fit the descriptions all the time, the descriptions fit most young people most of the time. When a youngster’s behavior or adjustment noticeably deviates from the description, concern is appropriate. If the problem or issue goes on for more than a few days, something is going on that needs appropriate adult intervention. Talk with the young person about your concern. If that does not lead to positive change within a couple of weeks, consider consulting with a professional who has expertise in working with young people. If the problem or issue is more severe or serious, do not wait to initiate your intervention.

1. Is energetic and interested in what is going on around him or her.

2. Feels attractive.

3. Is relaxed and comfortable with himself or herself.

4. Likes himself or herself.

5. Is self-confident.

6. Has a normal appetite and eating habits.

7. Stays away from drugs and alcohol.


8. Is happy and in a positive mood.

9. Manages his or her temper and anger responsibly.

10. Is honest and truthful.

11. Is a good student.

12. Feels successful.

13. Likes school.

14. Finishes projects, assignments, or other things for which he or she is responsible.

15. Is well behaved.

16. Is easy for parents, teachers, and other adults to deal with.

17. Is a responsible person.

18. Is a dependable person.

19. Has friends his or her age.

20. Makes good choices when it comes to friends.

21. Gets along well with his or her friends.

22. Follows the rules and goes along with what is expected of him or her at school and at home.

23. Makes friends easily.

24. Is adventurous and willing to try new things.

25. Handles day-to-day stresses and tensions well.

26. Is healthy.

27. Will talk about things with parents or other adults.

Now you know so there you go.