Many teens feel stressed-out occasionally but as many as one-third of U.S. teens express stress on a daily basis, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan. As many as two-thirds of teens report being stressed out at least once a week. So how do you know your teen is stressed?
Symptoms of Stress
- Chronic fatigue — constantly tired
- Anger at people making demands and self-criticism for putting up with demands
- Negativity and irritability
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Exploding easily at seemingly inconsequential things
- Frequent headaches and stomachaches
- Weight loss or gain
- Difficulty sleeping and depression
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of helplessness
- Increased degree of risk taking
What Parents Can Do
- Be sensitive to any changes in your teen’s behavior or moods
- Once you recognize one of the signs of stress, try to identify what is causing the stress
- Spend time with your teen just having fun. Not only can down time help reduce stress but it can also help build stronger relationships
- Give your teen the opportunity to learn stress management techniques. These can range from learning time management to breathing exercises
- Help your teen have realistic expectations academically as well is in any extracurricular activities he might participate
- Encourage your child toward exercise or sports which can help prevent or minimize feelings of stress.
- Don’t pass your stress to your teens. This can only double their load, not lessen yours.
- Help your child to build their relationships with others. Being able to share their feelings with friends or family members who care can help relieve their stress.
Stress is a necessary part of our lives. Some stress is healthy. Like exercise, stress helps us grow stronger. Helping your teenager understand this will help them throughout his life.