Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Are Our Teens Too Stresed Out?

Stress. We all experience it, we all hear about it, we all read about it; it is part of our lives. More importantly it is a big part of our teenager’s lives too. Teens face different forms of stress than adults and it is important for parents to understand the types of stress our teens face and how to help them cope. Some of the most important and effective ways to help teens are:

1. Ensure that your teen develops and follows a constant sleep pattern – that means getting enough sleep during the school week and not oversleeping on weekends, which disrupts teens’ sleep cycles.

2. Make time for family – teens need to connect with their parents and siblings every day. Family time is one of the best ways for teens to get away from the every day stressors of their lives and just be a kid.

3. Work hard to communicate with your teenager. I know it is tough and that teens tend to be closed off and keep their feelings to themselves, or feel that they can trust their friends more than their parents. Parents must ensure that teens know that they can speak freely, without retribution or judgement to help relieve the daily stressors they face.

4. As your teen gets ready to choose a college try looking for schools that are a good fit for your teens’ personality rather than finding a “top school.” The college experience is wonderful and opens our children’s minds to a slew of new and exciting experiences. Having a great college experience at a school where your teen wants to attend can be far better than attending a “top school” just because your son or daughter is “supposed to” attend a great school. There are many, many excellent schools that provide both a great education and a college experience that your teen will remember and grow from.

These days the pressure to perform better than the rest in school is immense. Do you remember needing a GPA over 4.0, having to take multiple AP classes, or needing a bevy of extra curricular activities just to be considered for a top tier school? Unfortunately, that is today’s reality and it is incredibly stressful for teenagers. They need help to deal with the increased pressure to excel in school.

Here is an excellent article from Time.com that sheds some light on teen stressors.

Enjoy,

Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP

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