Teen stress is a part of everyday life. Feeling of having too much to do and not enough time. Tests, papers, extra curricular activities, sports, friends,and family all play a part in how to deal with stress from school. Some factors put teens at risk of stress overload. Family conflicts, bullying, problems with schoolwork, disability, poor living conditions are hard to manage over the long term.
Signs of a stressed teen is a person that has anxiety and panic attacks, moodiness, headaches, physical symptoms, drinking, smoking, sadness or depression. This often comes as teens take on more responsibility. Often they have part time jobs, school pressure about grades and career choices, peer pressure about sex and drugs, hormonal changes, and sometimes bullying in school and online.
With all the stress parents have to be able to talk with their children and help them find ways to cope better with daily teen stress. Stress can cause health problems both physical and mental so learning ways to cope is important for teens. The issues that stress kids the most are parents, homework, relationships, friends, and siblings.
Many teens tend not to know how to deal with stress at school but find ways to distract themselves from it. Some teens ask for support from family and teachers. About 31 percent of teens report that stress in high school students increases every year. Many report feeling tired and losing sleep due to stress. Teen stress often is due to lack of exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep.
A poll taken by CNN found many high school students don’t think cheating is wrong due to pressure and competition for grades and getting into college. Stress leads to clinical depression in teens. It has also increased the rate of suicide with this age group. Some high schools have eliminated advanced placement programs. Teens need to learn how to deal with school stress better.
Girls often feel the stress more than boys. They ofte ignore or try to suppress the problem. The pressure for good grades and high GPA scores really affects some teens. Stress management for teens is an important part of learning how to perform effectively.
Stories of Teens With Stress
Morgan Levy is an active high school senior that is editor of the high school paper and president of the LHS Forensics Speech and Debate Team. Her stressful life lead her to end up in the emergency room with an intravenous drip. While she was in the hospital she tapped away at her cell phone texting her English teacher and applying for internships. After that day she began to think about teenage stress.
She began to reflect on her extreme busy schedule with volunteering at the hospital and school in many capacities. In addition, she was applying for college and writing for several publications. She liked to drink coffee to keep her going and had trouble relaxing. She often felt the constant need to be busy. Since that time she has tried to just read for fun and enjoy swimming in the summer or just relaxing in front of a pool. She has learned to take breaks and turn off the iPhone for awhile.
Adora Svitak is an Asian teen that loves to write. She is a finalist for the Teen Impact Contest at the Huffington Post. She felt being busy and taking on tasks was part of being a smart teenager. She often stayed up until 1 a.m. doing homework and answering all her emails on school nights. Realizing that learning to relax was a way to deal with stress from school she has changed her routine. Now she takes time to get that extra sleep and watches her favorite TV shows
The American Psychological Association found that 18-33 years olds are one of the most stressed generations. Teens now have become the top group experiencing stress like adults in their daily life. Teen statistics about stress are mind boggling.
The 2013 APA survey show that teens feel their stress level during a school year is high not at a healthy level. Teens report that stress causes them to be sad, depressed, anxious, and 36 percent feel tired and lack energy. About 52 percent of teen boys and girls don’t think stress in teens has any effect on their physical or mental health. Many report not doing enough to manage their stress.
Abe Wilson another teen found herself buried in work at the end of her junior years. She was involved in music, church, and school. She was asked to play the organ and had big projects in many of her classes. She often got up and 4 a.m. to finish work that she could not finish at night. She found the best way to get through this hectic schedule was to focus on one task at a time. She admited school stresses me out but found taking one task at a time worked.
Many teens do not handle stress well. Some cut themselves and the scratches appear like accidental cuts. One girl when she went to the doctor was asked if she cut herself while cooking. She says that often parents and teachers don’t understand depression because she tried to talk to her parents but they brushed it off as being a teenager. The cuts were not accidents but deliberate.
She says when she woke up in an ICU after taking an overdose it finally hit the family that she suffered from depression. She says depression is normal and kids have to find ways to make a difference in their own way. After the incident she says she was one of the lucky teens to get medical treatment that helped her get better.
Causes of teen stress are many, bullying at school and on social media is one. There are many causes like pressure to get good grades, dating, peer pressure, family problems, and alcohol and drug abuse. Every teen handles stress differently. It is hard to predict how a teen will react to stress.
Helping Teens With Stress
One of the best ways to help teens with stress is to talk to your kids. Knowing what they are doing and dealing with their problems gives them some place to vent feelings and discuss solutions. Tell them when dealing with stress to take deep breaths to calm the anxiety they feell. Teach them to set goals and break goals into manageable tasks they can do daily. Reading stress articles helps you understand the problem more.
Regular exercise like walking, running, swimming, working out at the gym, biking, or aerobics relives stress. Eating healthy food like plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and poultry keep the immune system healthy. Eating regular meals even when on the run is important. A sandwich or crackers with peanut butter is great when time is limited.
Encourage teens to limit activities and not take on too many. It is better to be involved with one or two activities and enjoy the activities than spread yourself too thin. Teens should get enough sleep not stay up all hours to finish school work. Learn to say no to some activities. If they are focusing on good grades and SAT’s this is where their attention should be.
Have realistic expectations of your children. If they are average students don’t expect them to make the honor roll or become a doctor. Realize every child has dreams and they may not be yours. The stress of trying to be something that your not suited to can really take its toll on teens. Someone that is not good at sports will not turn into a star athlete like their siblings.
Let your kids have some down time. Time to have a hobby or be with friends. Let them watch TV, read a book, go shopping, or have friends over for a party. Let them listen to music, swim, fix cars, go to the movies, volunteer at the hospital or school paper. Let them have some say in the activities they do.
Teach kids that life is hard and that they need to learn skills to cope with high school stress. This is fact. Learning to be assertive but not aggressive is an important skill in asking for things. Some kids are too aggressive and others too timid. Learning now paves the way for college and grad school stress.
Taking about 15 minutes daily talking with your kids makes a big difference. Finding out how their day went and what they are doing at school and online. Knowing is a way of keeping a handle on problem. Real communications means listening to what is important to them not just you.
Remember most kids want to fit in and be like by others. Most will test your boundaries and see how far they can go. Most teens do need and want guidance someone that cares about them. Many kids will bend or break rules to prove something to their peers. Some ignore feelings of shame and failure.
Don’t forget teens are changing sexually and coping with many feeling at once. It is often a confusing painful time for them. There are more serious problems with teen stress that require counseling and getting help. Some of these factors might be domestic violence, divorce, physical or sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and severe depression.
In these case call the suicide hotline, family doctor, or take the teen to the emergency room at the hospital. There they will evaluate the situation and find a treatment program that is suitable for the child. Don’t ignore serious symptoms do something about it.
Remember teen stress has many causes. Each child is different and the causes are often different with each child. Some teens handle stress well and other do not. Extreme stress over a long period of time can lead to depression and drug and alcohol abuse. Some stress is caused by bullying a topic often kids will not talk about or tell anyone about.
It important to teach teens that their is a connection between stress and physical and mental health. This means talking to them about eating properly, exercising, and getting adequate rest. Learning how to relieve stress from school is key. Often teens do not connect stress with health or mental issues so its important that they learn about it. This is part of learning to manage stress.
Teens have to become active in managing stress parents cannot do everything for them. They have to learn to stop take a break, talk to someone about serious problems, get an exercise routine, and say no when they need to. School stress statistics show that boys and girls suffer from the problem. These are some suggestions on how to address the issue.