Teenage Stress Management How Parents Can Help

stressed teen with braided hair

Teenage stress management is all about having a life with less stress over the long term.  During those crazy adolescent years, there are many ups and downs that teens experience.  Effectively learning how to handle some of life’s predictable stress-creating situations is one of the best life lessons teens can learn. Teen stress has many variations.  Have your teen stop for a moment and step back from the daily schedule.  Sometimes teenagers get so caught up in their whirlwind of activities they lose sight of the life’s big picture.  Teenage stress ebbs and flows but tends to increase with schedule overload and friendship issues.  Here are three strategies to help with teenage stress management. 

Teens Need to Develop Their Own Definition of Success

As teenagers mature, they begin defining their own set of values, interests, and attitudes about life.  They also learn what skills, talents and abilities they possess.  How they view life and how they use their attributes is in part determined by the world around them.

Many times, teenagers try to please those around them and make life decisions based on following other people’s expectations.  This can increase their stress if they are not fulfilling their own passions.

Teens may be afraid to learn a new skill because they are afraid of failure or making mistakes during the learning process.  It is an important part of teenager stress management that kids attain own designed goals based on their own values, interests and abilities.

To lower the stress teens feel, they need to be comfortable with who they are and with what types of life goals they are trying to pursue.  Talking with your teenager about how they define success is a way to help them begin to recognize what priorities to pursue in life; when it is ok to fail as part of a learning process; and when to follow their own individual passion—even if it causes them stress because they don’t fit in with the “in crowd.”

Teens Need to Identify What Triggers Their Stress

Teenager stress management includes developing an early warning system that alerts them when things are getting out of control.  Talk to your teenager about what stresses them.  Have them verbalize what types of situations most often trigger a stress response.  Talk to them about what they can change to lower the stress levels—lighten the schedule of activities or limit time with friends with whom they don’t get along. These are all effective teenage stress management strategies.

Teenagers can be their own worst enemy by expecting too much from themselves, expecting perfection, or focusing on the negative aspects that occur in their day-to-day life.  Such attitudes create more stress, anxiety, or anger management issues.  Help them learn to notice the many good things that are happening in their lives.  Help them list what they do well and allow themselves to be average in areas that are not their strengths.  Help them learn to congratulate themselves for their defined successes, no matter how small. Effective teenage stress management strategies help build positive self esteem.   Negative self-talk only increases stress levels for teens.

Teens Need to Create a Plan for Their Own Future Success 

As your teenager matures, allow them to define a sense of direction and purpose for their life.  By identifying their talents and abilities, they can begin to consider how to use these in pursuing their future goals.  Teenager stress management includes developing a sense of direction and purpose so it becomes easier to set priorities.  There are many decisions that teens make on a daily basis, including what friends to hang with and what activities to join.  Having a sense of direction can help them make more informed choices.

Setting goals is essential for teens.  Read about SMART Goals for information about how to construct goals.  Then, help your teen define the first small steps they can make as they move toward larger their goals.  Success builds on itself.  As teens experience success moving toward their unique set of goals, they can find it easier to be content with their direction and less worried about everyone else’s opinions.  The end result will be lower levels of stress and more effective teenage stress management.

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