How can parents help with teenage stress? This is one question I get asked often on social media and in my sessions. In this post, I would be talking all about the teen stress. How to identify teen stress and what are the behaviours that trigger teen stress.
It is not easy being a teenager these days. Teenage 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 the physical and hormonal changes. Additionally, they also need to cope with a lot of environmental factors like peer pressure, pressure to look perfect, pressure to succeed in school etc that could lead to anxiety & stress.
While some teens find themselves equipped well to deal with these changes effectively, many teenagers end up feeling overwhelmed & stressed with these changes. So what should be the role of parents in these times and how can they help the teenagers overcome the stress?
How can parents help with teenage stress
It is quite natural for teenager to feel overwhelmed by all the biological and physiological changes happening in their bodies. However, having supportive and loving parents around makes a huge difference in how teens deal with this stress.
Before going further in discussing the role of parents, let us understand the statistics about teen and adult stress. Also mentioned in the graphic are key symptoms that can help identify teen stress.
The following data has been sourced from American Psychological Association and depicts the statistics about adult & teen stress.
Interestingly teens are more stressed as compared to adults. They feel this high degree of stress due to various reasons. Unpredictable and dynamic world that we live in a major cause of this stress. Apart from this, school, securing jobs, competition and relationships are other major themes that contribute to stress in teens. Furthermore, the lack of experience in handling various life situations is also adding on to their woes as compared to adults.
Key Reasons of Teenage Stress
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR TEEN’S LIVES THAT CAUSES STRESS
One of the most common reasons of stress in teenagers is peer pressure. It is 2 dimensional in nature. One hand it is the competition and comparisons with friends and peers that kill the teens’ happiness. On the other hand it is the pressure to conform to their peer groups also create a lot of stress on teens in present times.
Not knowing how to handle the bodily changes and needs, can create stress in teens’ lives.
|Stress to choose careers
With increasing competition around the world, and the reign of technology, there is high level of unpredictability in the job markets. The jobs which were earlier well sought after are getting extinct in present times and are taken over by technology and its newer avenues. All these factors lead to increased stress to our teenagers.
Pressure to perform exceptionally well in Academic and Extra-curricular end up creating a lot of stress on your teens.
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 friendships, romantic feelings for another person, confusion related to sexual preferences, and heart breaks all lead to stress in your teens.
WHAT IS HAPPENING INSIDE OUR HOMES THAT CAUSES TEEN 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 definitely 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.
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.
|Lack of 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. And lack of quality sleep can create issue including stress in your teen’s lives.
So as a parent we should always see that our kids are sleeping well and enough in between all our everyday pressures of life.
|A bad start to the day
A good beginning is half done. Doing away with the Morning madness at home is a great start to creating a stress free home. However when the day at home starts in an unorganised way, with mom yelling at kids to get ready and kids glued in front of their screens, it adds significantly to the stress levels in teens.
|Lack of 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. Genuine appreciation when done whole heartedly leads to raising a fulfilled child more capable of handing the everyday stress. And for obvious reasons the lack of genuine appreciation adds on to the teen stress.
Discussing a wrong behaviour rationally and without catastrophising it is a skill not many mothers have these days. Also not many mothers realise how much they add on to their teen stress by magnifying their mistakes, humiliating them in front of others and referring to their mistakes again and again.
Being on the current behaviour, not bringing the past mistakes, not generalising and staying close to the context can work wonders in bringing down the home stress.
|Friction in between both parents
This is also one of the main reasons behind Teen Stress. Frequent arguments and fights in between parents lead to increased stress levels in teenagers.
Ideas to help your Teens De-Stress
Listed below are some key ideas on how parents can help with teenage stress. So Go ahead and try out what you feel will bets work for you with your teen.
Spending Time with her to help her de-stress
Spending time with your growing child can be the best stress buster for her. This is the time when she needs abundance of love and understanding. This is the age when parents should be like friends with their kids. In this way, you not only strengthen your bond with her, but also with your experience you are able to offer workable and practical suggestions to critical subjects like dating advice whenever she needs it.
Indulge in Physical Activities can help your teen de-stress
Physical exercise, jogging, morning walks, dancing and any sport can help manage her stress effectively. SO encourage your teen to participate in any form of physical activity that she likes and see her conquering the demons of teen stress.
Extend Help & a Listening Ear to support her in her stress
Sometimes all that your teen might need is a pair of helping hands and listening ears. Be available to her when she might need to talk or delegate some of her overwhelming schedule projects to you. This way you can help her deal with her stress effectively. And also better your relationship with your teen daughter.
Teach her to Meditate to deal with stress
Meditation in the midst of nature can be used for calming down nerves and relax. Teach your teen daughter the art of connecting with self. Also, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are some methods used by our ancestors to effectively de-stress.
Take Care of her Sleep Routines and help her deal with stress
As per the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers typically need between eight and a half hours to 10 hours of sleep every day. A good quality sleep is what the body needs to relax and rejuvenate so that it is ready to face the world the next day.So taking care of her sleep routines, and ensuring a good quality sleep for your teen helps fix her skills to deal with the teen stress.
Giving her Frequent Breaks out of her fixed schedule can help her manage her stress effectively
Getting her 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.
Also, taking 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.
Get her to develop interest in Music, Its a great de-stressor
Indulging in music 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.
Friends can be great stress-busters for your teen
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 can be a magical de-stressor
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.
Try Essential oils & aromatherapy for dealing with stress
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.
Positive Self Talk can keep the stress at bay for your teen
Coach your teen on this essential life skill and it takes care of a lot of challenges thereafter in their lives. Positive Self talk can help them not only overcome stress but can also take them out of depression. Therefore, Invest good time in developing this habit of being optimistic and talking positive to their mind.
This is an exhaustive guide on How can parents help with teenage stress and I hope you have a good inventory of ideas to take back home and apply from this blog post. Do share with me in the comments section if you find this post useful.
The answer to How can parents help with teenage stress is not a simple and a straight one, what it takes however is your consistent love support and empathy for fourteen to overcome the stressful situations in her life. This attitude comes easily when you parents can reflect back on your own teenage years and remember what were your expectations at that time from your parents. How you felt and how you overcame all those challenges of teen years.
Teenage Stress is for Real and it Needs Our Attention
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.