Surveys have found that teenagers are more stressed than ever, and the number one source of stress is school.
This isn’t surprising considering the pressure young people are under to get into university or obtain a good job. Deciding what they want to do when they leave school can cause a lot of stress for teenagers, leading to depression and anxiety.
Teenagers who are anxious and stressed often report feeling tired all the time. They may have difficulty sleeping and find it hard to concentrate on schoolwork. Changes to eating habits are also common, and some students will withdraw or become negative and moody.
Ongoing stress can cause serious long-term health issues and hamper academic success, so it’s important to nip it in the bud. A healthy, balanced lifestyle is key for combating stress, but there are several other things you can do to help your teenager de-stress.
Talk it Out
Talking is a great form of stress relief, so encourage your teenager to open up about how they’re feeling. It’s important to keep the channels of communication open during the teenage years, and knowing they can approach you with problems will lighten your child’s burden.
Parents should be careful not to downplay young peoples’ problems because what they need is support, not judgement at this crucial time. If your teenager doesn’t want to talk to you, try not to take it personally and encourage them to speak to a trusted teacher or counsellor.
Ease the Pressure
Deciding what they want to do with their future is extremely daunting for young people who are still getting to know themselves. Parents can ease the pressure by assuring teenagers that no career or study decision they make in their teenage years is set in stone.
It’s not uncommon for young people to discover that their first choice of university course or job is not the right one for them and to change direction. This is all part of the journey to adulthood, and teenagers shouldn’t live in fear of making mistakes and jeopardising their future. Credits from university subjects can often be transferred to other courses, and all work experience is valuable.
A gap year between high school and study is helpful for many young people as it gives them time to work out what they really want to do.
Boost Self Esteem
Teenagers may seem like they have it all under control and don’t need their parents anymore, but this is an illusion. Many young people suffer from insecurity and a lack of self-esteem, causing much unnecessary stress.
Parents are in a great position to boost self-esteem by challenging negative thought patterns in teenagers and assuring them that their academic results don’t define them. You can ease your teenagers stress levels significantly by giving them regular positive feedback and praise for their efforts. A teenager who feels valued and appreciated will have greater resilience when it comes to dealing with stress.
These simple but effective tips will help your teenager de-stress.