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7 Ways to Help Teens Cope with Stress

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7 Ways to Help Teens Cope with Stress

Teens are flooded with pressures and demands that seem never ending.

Day-To-Day Teen Stresses

Teens are losing sleep worrying about tests, projects that are due, teams going to competitions, friendship dramas, and break ups. The most common source of day-to-day stress for teens are: Problems with peers (being bullied or relationship problems), family issues, school related pressures, and their own thoughts or feelings (feeling lonely or depressed). Parents would be surprised by the amount of stress and anxiety teens are dealing with involving social media. With Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram on every teen’s iPhone, teens can now see how they are excluded from activities, opening a new avenue of bullying.

As a life coach for teens, I see more and more teens with anxiety and very high stress levels. Thinking back to when I was in middle or high school, I don’t even think I knew what anxiety was! Times have changed in a big way and we, responsible adults, have to offer support. Teenagers may not have experienced this new level of stress before and therefore, may not know how much it affects their day-to-day behavior.

Parents can identity signs of stress and help their teen find a way to cope:

  • Focus on the process instead of the outcome. How hard a child tries is more important than the outcome. "Take one day at a time," is one piece of advice I always tell my clients.
  • Help your teens monitor their schedules and activities. If you leave it up to them, they will jam pack their schedule with no time left for homework (on purpose? Maybe!).
  • Help teach your teen to identify the “stress signs.” These may include stomach pains, chest tightness, fast heartbeat, obsessive thoughts about being ready for things, and the inability to enjoy their day-to-day activities.
  • Encourage and remind teens they are in control of their lives. Remind them to make decisions and prioritize their activities.
  • Talk to your teen about what is causing the stress and find a healthy solution to deal with it. Don't jump to conclusions or give advice right away -- just listen.
  • Encourage sleep and healthy habits. Experts recommend that parents impose a regular bedtime. Continue to provide structure; I have found that stability and predictability realy helps teens.
  • Practice what you preach. Parents should also limit their commitments and have more opportunities to talk with their children on a regular basis about school, friends and peer pressure.
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Marthe  Teixeira-profile-picture

Marthe Teixeira is the founder/CEO of Stixs and Stones and a wellness coach for teen girls and women. She works with Waltham organizations and schools, and coaches clients one on one. She looks to help parents of teenagers navigate the pitfalls and perils of teen life.

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