As teenagers mature, they experience increasingly complex life situations that often lead to stress and frustration. Teens need to learn how to adjust to having more pressure and responsibility in their home lives and at school.
Be an eParent®! Humor is an important coping skill. Snapchat your teen with a photo of yourself making a funny expression.
It’s not easy being a kid these days. Grades become more important as teens get older and peer pressure becomes more challenging to manage. Friendship groups may drift apart and morph during the teenage years. Parents may expect their teens to take on more chores and responsibilities around the home, which may cause tension and anxiety when coupled with increasing amounts of schoolwork. These emotional, physical and social changes can lead to outbursts of frustration or withdrawal from difficult situations. Parents need to handle their teen’s reactions appropriately by modeling effective coping mechanisms as they guide them in managing their strong emotions.
Parents can help by being available to talk and teach teens how to keep things in perspective. Teach them to approach stressful situations as challenges to be met and overcome, rather than impossible problems that will last forever. Demonstrate time management skills or tools such as a calendar app or a cloud-based storage system to manage homework assignments. Encourage healthy escapes from the daily grind: take a walk, write in a journal, or spend time on a hobby. Show your teenager how to focus on the positive aspects of a situation; even unpleasant experiences can lead to growth. A well-balanced diet and sufficient sleep are essential for alleviating stress. And, don’t forget to add a bit of humor in your lives. Laughter can relieve stress as much as exercise or other healthy escapes.
Watch a video about what teens say stresses them out and what they do to cope. Get ideas from the American Psychological Association about how to keep stress in check and talking to teens about stress.
Revised November 2018
(Post title quote by Henry Kissinger)