I don’t remember stressing about much as a teenager but one thing I know made me feel sick in the stomach was exams. Even though Ashlea is not quite doing exams, she must complete end of term testing in all her subjects. I haven’t seen a change in her behaviour, in fact, she seems to thrive on the testing and loves getting her results.
When teenagers are dealt with a difficult or an uncommon situation, how do they handle this in our busy world of technology? There is nowhere to hide now, and many teenagers feel the pressure ( or the perceived pressure) unsure of how to handle their emotions.
Teenagers see themselves through other people, constantly comparing. Friends are a major influence on teenagers and many will mimic their peers when it comes to handling stress. The last thing we want as parents is to find children turning to alcohol, drugs or other substances to elevate stress. Parents are still major influences on young teenagers and if they see their parents unable to cope with daily stresses, often the child will develop the same coping mechanism. Asking for help when the situation becomes too difficult is essential when dealing with stress and allowing the teenager to understand that there is always someone who can take on some of their burden. Some quick ways to handle stressful situations:
- Taking 10 deep breaths before taking any action.
Sleeping on the problem makes the mind clearer.
Taking time out, gene to go for a walk without distractions can help clear the mind.
Another great way to communicate with a teenager on handling stress is to have boundaries in place. As a parent, it is our job to set up the safest learning environment possible, giving our children the highest chance to succeed. This environment requires boundaries, safe and secure boundaries which children may try to move, but overall feel a sense of security within them.
Finally, try to put the situation into perspective for the child. Often they see only the one event which is causing them stress. It is our role as parents to show them the bigger picture, guiding them in the direction of their goals with as minimal of stress as possible.
How do you teach your teenager to handle stress?