Think back to when you were a teen. Life was stress-free, right? You probably know that teenagers today have far more stressors in their lives than you did as a teen, and you had plenty of your own. Just think about it a minute.
- Teenagers experience wild hormonal fluctuations.
- Teenagers become interested in the opposite sex.
- Teenagers carry heavier academic workloads.
- Teenagers prepare for college entrance.
- Teenagers enter the workforce.
- Teenagers confront acne and other bodily changes.
- Teenagers fight for personal independence.
Those stressors alone are convincing evidence that teenage stress management is a reality that is needed in the life of every teenager.
Install Lines of Communication
A vital part of teenage stress management is the installation of lines of communication. Be sure you are readily available to listen to your teenagers whenever they need to talk. Be sure the reverse is true also, that you can talk to them whenever you want. This is not something that happens overnight. If your children are not yet teens, prepare for teenage stress management by getting them accustomed to honest conversations with you on any subject.
Set the Example
Teenage stress management is much easier when parents set the example. Get busy and learn stress management techniques yourself. Put them into practice in your life, and make them habitual. If you have developed a habit of screaming, heaping verbal abuse on others, learn to control your anger. If your habitual response to stressors has been to withdraw, learn coping mechanisms that will bring you back into life. You will be much more prepared to tackle teenage stress management – and more respected by your teens – if you learn to handle your own stress first.
Proactive teenage stress management is much more effective than reactive management. Counsel your children early and often regarding what to expect in the teen years. Tell them how their bodies will change and teach them what to do when the changes frustrate them. Teach them about changing relationships, and how to handle the stress created by them. If they are already teens, watch their schedules and listen to them to gain insight into what can be done to fend off potential stress. Help them learn how to study correctly to avoid last-minute cramming for exams. If you don’t know good study habits, ask an educator for help. Help them deal with broken friendships and peer pressure.
The reality of teenage stress management is that it is needed, but is readily available. Help your teenagers learn to cope properly with stress before they step into adulthood.