Stress Management
with Adolescents

cartoon of adolescent stress

Learning effective stress management with adolescents can help the entire household breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Being a parent of a teen can be a bumpy ride.  But, it is most likely an even bumpier ride for the teen!

Stress management with teens starts by recognizing the things in life causing the stress.  These stressors change as your teenager starts to confront new situations.  Things that bothered your teen as a young child might have been monsters lurking under the bed, reliving a scary movie, or losing a favorite toy. 

Now that your teen is in middle school or high school, life has changed.  Suddenly, your teen may be worrying about what the Queen Bee in her girl-world is thinking, or being picked last for the gym class teams.  Stress also can be caused by schedule overloads, increasing demands from peer pressure, and all of the other challenges experienced by teens navigating in today's world.  Being able to identify what is causing the stress is a first step toward handling them.

The second part of stress management with adolescents is learning effective coping skills.  These strategies may help.

Help your teen identify goals.

As your teen matures, talk about what goals she may have for her future.  Not that they need to be set in stone, but at least she has some thoughts about what she may want to pursue as she leaves high school and begins to craft her own life.  Help her identify her ambitions.  Such established goals and ambitions allow a teen to say, “yes” and, “no” to different impulses that will arise.

Help your teen be realistic.

Is your teen a perfectionist?  Does she put pressure on herself to succeed at everything she tries?  Stress management with adolescents is all about learning what matters most.  Help your teen focus on excelling in those areas of life that matter most for her.  As a parent, you may have to help your teen learn to be comfortable with her performance in areas that are not as important so she can spend more time on things that have greater consequences in her life.

Help your teen use time wisely.

Teens tend to enjoy their social time, which is important for them as they mature.  But they also need to learn how to handle time management.   Work with your teen to use her time wisely.  I used to develop schedules for my sons when they were teens, and it included sleep and down time built in, along with family meal time.  School work and extracurricular activities were added next, and then the social events were added last.  This allowed for a more well balanced and comfortable use of time.

Stress management with adolescents is always a challenge.  If your teen is comfortable with her goals and ambitions, sets reasonable standards, and paractices good time management, she will experience lower stress levels.  With a comfortable sense of self, your teen will be more likely to effectively handle the unexpected.  With the craziness of teen years, the unexpected can occur every day!!

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Helping with Your Teen's Stress

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