This article is a guest post I wrote for the Healthy Living Lounge Blog, which is a great blog for family healthy living and has some really wonderful insights, definitely check it out!
“How can my teenager be so stressed…..he/she doesn’t have any teenagers!”
Its hard to understand how teens can be so stressed compared to many adult issues like paying bills, caring for elderly parents, financial security and jobs, but for teens their issues also seem just as serious, permanent and intimidating. This concept leads me to my first piece of advice for helping your teen be less stressed out!
- 1) Nothing is relative:
You know when you are talking to a friend about something you are stressed out about—like a busy workday and as soon as your finished talking (or even before that), your friend is like, ‘well my day was even worse than that!’ Then they go on to tell you how their day was more stressful. It feels like they are belittling your bad day and it doesn’t make you feel any better that you both had bad days. This is the same for teens but to a much larger extent. When we are venting to you or talking to you, and then parents say things like: “You don’t even have to worry about paying your bills!” or “Well, everyone else seems to be doing fine!” or “Your sister did not have trouble with that ___.” This not only makes teens feel alienated from you, but it makes them feel bad about having those feelings.
- Tip: When your teen starts talking to you, let them know you are listening by repeating their points and empathizing with them. It is a common misconception that re-emphasizing a bad feeling encourages it. I think with teens it is the opposite, when my mom said things like “oh, that’s horrible and so unfair” it made me feel heard and understood so that I could then work it out. When she said, ‘oh its not that big of a deal, you will forget about it tomorrow” I was mad that she didn’t understand my plight and would continue to fester on the issue, unable to move on.
2) Its Forever:
Somehow, when I got in a fight with friends or a boyfriend when I was in high school it literally felt like the end of my world. I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I talk to teens about issues they are having, to them there is nothing else going on, it will never change and there is no tomorrow. Ok, I am over-emphasizing the point a bit, but you get it, teenagers get so stressed out because it is more difficult to think long term and everything feels like it will last forever.
- Tip: Avoid the temptation…
see the rest of the article here!