Teenage Stress
Parental Support Helps

Teenage stress is becoming more prevalent as our teenage children negotiate through the many demands of their daily lives.  Family responsibilities, friendship challenges and the demands from school all place heavy burdens on our teens.  One of the toughest challenges for our teenagers today is developing their own self identity.

Trying to fit into a group of friends can increase teenage stress dramatically.  The group culture often dictates what your teen chooses to wear, how your teen spends her leisure time, and with whom your teen associates.  Read the lyrics to this song, The In Crowd, sung by Mama Cass, the deceased member of the Mamas and Pappas.  She describes the enticements of becoming a group member and embracing the group identity rather than one’s own.

I’m in with the in crowd;
I go where the in crowd goes.
I’m in with the in crowd;
And I know what the in crowd knows.
Any time of the year, don’t you hear?
Dressing fine; making time.
We breeze up and down the street;
We get respect from the people we meet.
They make way day or night;
They know the in crowd is out of sight.
I’m in with the in crowd…

The teenage stress that results from peer pressure to fit in, leads many teens to become challenged by such issues as handling cyber-bullying or school cliques led by mean girlsMaking college decisions, staying safe with social networking and handling the overloaded schedules becomes draining and stressful for teens.

What can parents do?  Make certain that your home is a safe haven for your teenager.  Open communication and honest, non-threatening feedback is essential for teenagers learning how to find themselves.  Keep the pressure level as low as possible for your teenager.  She is a contributing member of your family who is beginning to embrace what will be a longstanding set of values. 

At the same time, your teen is clarifying her interests, understanding her unique personality traits, and discovering her strongest skill sets that she will use in whatever life occupation she chooses.  Whew!  That is a lot to learn.  Although teenage stress with its peer pressure component is decidedly intense, continue to encourage the path to self discovery.  Mama Cass also sang this song, Make Your own Kind of Music.  Seems to be good advice.

Nobody can tell ya; There’s only one song worth singin’.
They may try and sell ya,
‘cause it hangs them up
to see someone like you.

But you’ve gotta make your own kind of music
sing your own special song,
make your own kind of music even if nobody
else sings along.

So if you cannot take my hand,
and if you must be goin;
I will understand….

But you’ve gotta make your own kind of music
sing your own special song,
make your own kind of music even if nobody
else sings along.

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