Things to know about Teenage Stress
It is not easy being a teenager these days. Typically it is the age-group between thirteen to nineteen years. Most of these adolescents are either in high school or about to finish school to enter college. This is the age when girls and boys undergo not only physical and hormonal changes, they also need to cope with couple of environmental factors that could lead to anxiety – while some are able to adjust quite smoothly with these changes; many teenagers end up disturbed and stressed.
Reasons for Stress in Children:
- Peer Pressure: One of the commonest reasons of stress in teenagers is peer pressure or in other words competitions and comparisons with friends and others of the same age-group.
- Biological and hormonal changes
- Career decisions
- Perfromance Pressure: Academic and Extra-curricular.
- Self-doubt or the lack of confidence; feeling of helplessness.
- Depression that develop due to various reasons. The World Health Organisation reported in 2017 that one out of four teens in India, between ages 13 to 15 years suffer from depression. This is also one of the main reasons behind teenage suicides in the country. Bullying, unhappy homes, peer pressure, unsupportive parents and relatives, poor academic results are some of the causes of depression in this age group.
- Reasons like loss of a friendship; romantic feelings towards another person; confusion related to sexual preferences; family problems also contribute in making our happy and healthy kids unhappy and stressed.
While it is natural to be over-whelmed at the biological and physiological changes, with supportive and compassionate parents around, their happy healthy kids will transform into confident and promising teenagers. Parents need to contribute the maximum towards stress management of teenagers.
What is happening inside the Home that leads to Stress?
- Stress is contagious just like Good Moods. So the first step to having the stress free homes is to manage our own stress gracefully and boldly. It is defiitely the toughest path to take. But when we think of our kids watching out and silently learning these life skills from us, it makes a great sense to live through the tough times gracefully.
- Burn Out: All work and no play makes Jack, Cathy and Stacy all dull children. The burn out in kids as in adults is Real. Let us make sure that our kids take mindful breaks and do what they enjoy to relieve the exhaustion and tiredness in between their strict schedules.
- Start the day positively: A good beginning is half done. Doing away with the Morning madness at home is a great start to creating a stressfree home.Read about how to start your mornings with kids positively here.
- Good Sleep: A good and sufficient night sleep is the best way to stop being stressed. It is important for all age groups, more so for kids. So as a parent we should always see that our kids are sleeping well and enough in between all our everyday pressures of life.
- Genuine appreciation: I cant stress enough on the importance of genuine appreciation at home. It makes our children feel accepted, and wanted in life and helps in building a great self esteem. These are definitely the essential life skills in kids these days. Genuine appreciation when done whole heartedly leads to raising a fulfilled child more capable of handing the everyday stress.
- Stop Manginifying their mistakes: Discussing a wrong behaviour rationally and without catastrophising it is a skill not many mothers have these days. But this one skill can change your life with your kids. Being on the current behaviour, not bringing the past mistakes, not genertalisizing and staying close to the context can work wonders in bringing down the home stress.
Ideas for de-stressing:
- Spending time with your growing child can be the best stress buster for him. This is the time when he needs abundance of love and understanding. This is the age when parents should start becoming friends with their kids. In this way, you not only strengthen your bond with him, with your experience you are able to offer workable and practical solutions to his problems.
- Physical exercise, jogging, morning walks, m
- editation in the midst of nature or even participating an outdoor sports can be used for calming down nerves and relax.
- Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are some methods used by our ancestors to effectively de-stress. Why not let your happy healthy kid try one of these?
- Plenty of sound sleep – as per the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers typically need between eight and a half hours to nine hours sleep every day. A good sleep is what the body needs to relax and rejuvenate so that it is ready to face the world the next day.
- Getting some me-time to unwind and relax. This is the time when they need to do things that makes them feel good and happy. Getting them enrolled for courses that help strengthen their interests and hobbies, reading a book in the library or going out shopping can do wonders.
- Singing is one of the proven ways to reduce stress levels in children and adults. Whether your teenager sings well or not have them join a choir group or let them get to learn how to play an instrument.
- Take them out for occasional vacations to see and feel the nature. Biking and hiking trips, camping trips or even a walk down the road from the bus stop to the house can help brighten up the day. These family outings are also advisable to develop a strong bond with your happy healthy kids.
- Encourage them to go for stay-over and weekend parties at a friend’s place. You can also arrange the same at your place once in a while. This way they chill out, make more friends, and fortify their existing friendships and more. The laughter, the music and the dance will help push down the stress related hormone levels.
- Laughter is supposed to be one of the best medicines. It has been proved scientifically that a good genuine laugh helps in the release of endorphins in the body that helps the body calm down. Watching funny movies, laughter shows and even catching up with friends and families with a good sense of humour on the week-ends is a wonderful idea.
- Some natural smells and fragrances are also effective stress busters. For example lavender and jasmine oils are excellent anti-depressants – burning them in the room or getting an oil massage helps soothe muscle, boosts energy and uplifts the mind.
The teenage stress is for real and we parents can make all the difference to the lives of our young adults so they feel on top of things and in control. Let us do our bit and create happy adults.