This is a difficult time of year for many people, including teenagers. The days get shorter, and some teens are dreading the idea of getting out of bed to drive to school and then drive to work.
With that being said, we all can relate to this change in attitude during the cooler months but the reality is your teen still has to go to school and drive to work. These are just their everyday responsibilities now.
So today, we wanted to feature some tips to help you guide your teen forward. These tips will help you educate your teen on the best practices to manage and perhaps reduce their stress all year round.
How can parents help teenagers deal with stress?
Healthy habits are essential for teenagers to maintain good mental health. At this age, many young people have busy schedules that may include homework, after-school activities, or work. Recognizing the signs of stress is an important part of being able to seek help when needed.
It’s helpful to share what you do to reduce stress in your own life with your teen. If your teen feels like they can’t talk to you, consider asking another adult involved in his or her life for help. This could be a coach, teacher, family friend, religious leader, or other trusted adult.
The following tips may help guide you and your teen through stressful times:
Use Technology Wisely
Teens spend a lot of time on social media and new technologies. These can be great tools to have fun, but they can also become negative influences. Try to find a good balance for your teen between being glued to their phone or iPad and putting it away during family time or having a deep conversation by going outside with your family to enjoy nature.
Cultivate a Healthy Social Life
The pressure to keep up with the latest social trends is an issue for teens, but it’s also a huge stressor for you as a parent. We can all relate to this one – just think back to when you were a teenager and the going-out schedules that your friends imposed on you.
Identify the Pressure to Use Drugs and Alcohol
This pressure can be tough for any teen, but it’s often more difficult for gay teens who are growing up in an environment where they don’t see themselves represented in TV or movies. Many teens will drink alcohol or experiment with drugs in order to feel like they belong or are popular. Identifying these situations will help you guide your teen through to college and beyond.
The Reality of College Applications
We get it; this is stressful for every parent these days because the kids get older, and suddenly there’s pressure for them to succeed academically in order to attend a great school like Stanford or Harvard. This stress can be avoided by identifying and preparing for this pressure early on in high school.
Hang Out With Teens Who Are Positive Role Models
This will help your teen’s social circle become a positive influence, rather than a negative one. This can also save you from worrying about drug use and abuse too much.
Learn to Identify the Signs of Stress
This can be hard, especially as a parent. It will take some time to figure out the signs of stress in your teen and what those look like for them specifically. For example, your teen could withdraw from social situations and refuse to go out with friends. They could also start sleeping too much or not enough. Identifying these problems will help you to address them with your teen and hopefully ease their stress.
We hope these tips will be helpful for you as a parent. It’s important to remember that not all teens are the same, especially because teenagers are still growing and learning every day about themselves and the world around them. Be sure to use these five ideas to guide yourself forward as you help your teen manage their stress.