In this chaotic world, stress is all around us no matter how hard we try to avoid it. In the short term, stress can make us do things that we won’t be able to do in normal conditions like work hard when we are supposed to have a break, or learn fast, etc. It is positive stress that motivates us to do better. But, on the other hand, if it is not positive and becomes chronic, it can be dangerous.
In teens, stress is very common because of the emotional roller coaster they go through and the pressure they face in society. There are several other reasons like the use of social media for which parents are advised to use parental control strategies. It should be kept in mind that prolonged stress in teens can lead to mental and physical dangers. It can weaken their immune system and contribute to diseases like heart disease and obesity.
Stress looks different in young people as compared to adults. Kids are more prone to it and thus they hardly find the correct ways to tackle it. But, it can be managed through some help and strategies. Parents can play a big role in it.
What Causes Stress in A Teen?
For young children and teens, home becomes the main source of stress. When they don’t get the healthy environment they deserve and their parents fight all the time, they cannot share their problems with anyone at home. This is where it all starts. Another source of stress in kids is the school. The fights, the competitions, the rivalries, etc. become the main source of frustration for them.
A survey done by APA found that stress is extremely common in teenagers, and 83% of the teens reported that it is because of the school. Moreover, it was found that news was also a big source of stress for them. As they see gun violence, shootings, rising suicide rates, sexual harassment, it increases the stress in them.
Another biggest source of stress in teens is social media and the frequent use of smartphones. The moment parents hand them the smartphones, they get so much indulged in them and hardly see the dangers associated with them. Soon, they face cyberbullying, harassment, predators, addiction, etc. through the use of cell phones. It is also referred to as digital stress.
How to Recognize the Signs of Stress in Teens?
If you want to know the level of stress your teen is facing, you must look for the following signs:
· Changes in Behavior
Your teen who used to be very good at listening and communication suddenly starts acting out. The kid who was once very active now doesn’t want to leave the house at all. These sudden changes show that they are experiencing something disturbing.
· Sleep Disturbance
Stress affects your sleep more than anything else. And, it is a bit intense in the case of teens. Either they are sleeping too much or they lack the normal amount of sleep they used to have. Either way, it is not right.
· Changes in Eating Habits
Suddenly you start noticing changes in their eating habits. Now, they don’t focus on what they are eating and hardly want to engage themselves in this. They are usually distracted on the dining table.
· Getting Sick
Stress often shows up as physical illness. Children who feel stressed out are more prone to sudden physical changes and illnesses. It might start with headaches and stomachaches, and it can lead to serious matters.
Your teen who used to be calm and at peace, now lashes out on anything that is against his will. It can happen when they’re in constant stress, it induces a bad mood and thus they don’t like anything around them.
If your kid is showing these symptoms, it is time that you take the necessary steps to stop this from getting dangerous. It can turn into regret if you don’t get it right at the moment.
Stress Management for Teens
Parents can play an effective role in helping their teens manage their stress and lead a healthy life. Here is how you can help them:
Accompany them in the exercise every day until they get used to it on their own. Exercise is a proven practice that induces stress-reducing hormones and relaxes the body. Add this habit to their routine and help them get used to by accompanying them.
· Have Fun with them
They are kids and they like to have fun. You ought to give them the time where they can be themselves and they don’t have to worry about anything else. Take them to a movie, park, or anywhere where they would love to be. Make it a weekly or monthly thing to keep their mood good and going.
· Talk to Them
If you are noticing these changes in their behaviors, it is time to talk to them about what might be the reason. You can’t treat anything if you don’t know the reason. You must ask them what is wrong and why they are this much stressed out. For this to work, you must give them a positive environment and a healthy conversation where they know that they won’t be humiliated at all.
· Use Parental Controls
Using parental control software can help you know the things that they are not telling you. Sometimes it is about someone at school sending them harassing messages, or someone at social media teasing them, they won’t talk to you because they are afraid they will take away their smartphones. Let’s not make it like that. Use parental control software to know where what went wrong and talk to them politely about how you want to help them.
Some more stress management strategies for teens: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/stress.html
Building a strong relationship with your teen is the key to a healthy mindset. Focus on earning their trust and let them open up without the fear of being judged. They must feel safe and secure when they are talking to you. Only then, you can help them manage their stress and lead a happy life.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.