Relieve Teenage Stress with Parental Guidance
by Vishal P Rao
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding teenagers and teen stress. Teenage is an exciting period as well as one full of confusion, contradictions and dichotomy. There is a desire to find individuality as children try and tackle the question whether they are kids or adults. Howsoever transitional it may seem, teenage stress should be managed lest the occasional melancholy and bad moods turn into serious depression.
Some teens like to be left alone and do not want to socialize. They analyze and continue to think of events that have occurred. Yet there are some others who are slow learners. Despite their typical traits and sporadic incidents of bad moods and acting out, most teenagers are able to manage stress with friendships, school activities, sports. However, the fact still remains that teenage stress and even teen depression is on the rise. Today it is just as prevalent as it is in adults.
One of the major causes of teen stress is domestic tension. Stressed parents who cannot or do not devote adequate quality time to their children often incite stress in their offspring. Besides, growing up tensions, abused or deprived childhood, unrealistic expectations to perform in academics or other activities are common causes of teen stress.
Stress in teenagers often leads to fears and anxiety and adversely affects performance at different levels. It should not be difficult for adults to understand teenage stress as they too have passed through it. The sad part is that parents and teachers tend to forget their own experiences when dealing with children.
If you see a sudden change in your teen’s behavior or suspect that there is a possibility of them being stressed, the first thing that you should do is to talk to your teen about it. While this may seem to be an easy thing to do, many who have tried are aware that the process is not extremely easy. Teens tend to clam up, especially with a parent who has an authoritative behavior. It is sometimes seen as childish to share problems with parents and many teenagers try and act all grown up so as to prove something. However, this should not stop a parent from attempting to talk to their teens.
* Approach the situation by letting your teen know the reasons why you feel that there may be a reason to discuss things. Share your concern and encourage an open dialogue.
* Offer support but restrain from asking too many questions. Allow your teen to open up at his or her own pace.
* Persist but be mindful of your teens comfort. Teens are prone to keep things close to their chest and in the first discussion or attempt you may actually not reach anywhere. Be gentle as you keep on showing your concern. Make sure that your teen understands that you are there to listen.
* Do not sermonize. And do not be judgmental or critical about anything, however trivial it may seem. Just listen.
* Try to appreciate your teen’s point of view objectively. Put yourself in his/her shoes. Remember the times when went through a similar situation you as a teen. Try to identify with the problem that your teen is facing.
* Simply offer solutions and do not force them.
The best thing that you, as a parent, can do to relieve teenage stress is to build a healthy relationship with your child. It is important to convey to your teen that you are always there to help. And while providing that help, do make sure to remain in the background and let your child handle the specific problems on his/her own to build confidence.
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