Prepare your teens on how to deal with stress.
Teens can feel stressed, even more so than adults because they have high school to deal with.
I’m not sure if you remember but high school is probably the most stressful time of anyone’s life.
They have to deal with the cliques and all that. The teen years are a time to find yourself; who you are and the person you want to become.
Help them find a stress free zone
Everyone has a zone that makes them feel stress free.
Your child’s stress free zone may not be visible to them; therefore you may have to help them find it. This is a place where they can unwind and not think about what is going on in the world.
For some, it is as simple as watching cat videos.
Whatever your teen’s zone is make sure that you give them the chance to go there because having their stress build up may cause more problems down the road.
Let teens know that it is all about the effort
We can control what we put into the task but the outcome is beyond our control.
Letting your teen know that if they put their full effort into what they are doing then you, as a parent, are happy on whatever the outcome will be.
Make sure that you praise their hard work and dedication.
Take away stresses that teens don’t need
It is the little things in life that matter. Help your teen out by changing their laundry or helping them with the dishes one night.
It is nice when your spouse does this for you so doing the little things for your teen will have the same effect.
A lot of parents don’t like to hover, which you shouldn’t, but as long as you are not doing it all the time, it is okay.
We want our kids to grow into strong independent adults but taking away a little stress relief will be appreciated from time to time.
Teach teens to talk to teachers, if they don’t do this already
I know that for me this one would be difficult because I am an introvert, however, your teen must learn to speak up if they have a question about an assignment or why they received a certain grade. This will help reduce that stress.
Teachers are humans too and I am sure would love to get to know their students.
Treats worked when teens were little, they still work now
Even though your children are growing up and becoming young adults, they still like to be given treats.
If they look like they are down in the dumps don’t pressure them into telling you what is going on, instead bribe them.
Take them for a cup of coffee, pick them up from school so they don’t have to ride the bus, or take them out to lunch.
This will give you some alone time with them.
Then possibly mention that you noticed they have been down lately and ask if there is anything that you can do to help.
But whatever you do, don’t push it.
Don’t talk about the past and what life was like for you as a teen
Sharing your stories on how bad your life was as a teen does no good for your teens today. Even though we still like to share our stories with our teens, those stories go in one ear and out the other.
As a teenager, did you believe that your parents walked up hill to school both ways in the snow with wolves chasing them? No, probably not.
Your stories may be a little more realistic but no matter what you say your teens feel that their life is even harder and just not the same.
And I believe that they are, especially with all the social media these days. It is a different kind of stress than what we experienced.
We as parents know that high school is stressful but the experiences are different because times have changed.
Unless we go back to high school now, we won’t fully understand where our teens are coming from.
Provide a judgement-free zone
Teens are constantly getting judged as they walk up and down the hallways at school. Whether it is about what they are wearing, how they act, or who they are hanging out with.
Helping them feel that home is where they can be themselves gives them a sense of release.
Giving them a space to speak freely and voice their opinion, whatever that may be. It is just an opinion and everyone has one.
Let their opinion be heard.
Exercise, works as a de-stressor for us and it does for them too
Everyone needs a little bit of exercise in their life.
Exercise is a great de-stressor for adults as well as for teens. It is great even if it is just walking around the block. Ask your teen if you can join them.
You don’t even have to talk if you don’t want to.
This a great way to clear their head. Whether they think things through about the situation that is stressing them out or if they don’t think about anything at all.
Make a sleep plan with them
Teens often need to be reminded that sleep is an important part of their lives and should not be taken for granted. It should be scheduled into their day to day activities just like any other task.
Lack of sleep causes more stress due to being tired all day.
This can result in not being able to pay attention in class and missing assignments or sleeping in late and missing their first period.
Sit down with them and schedule what time they should go to bed by based on their activities.
Have them interact with an animal, if they are not allergic
Do you know anyone with a cat or a dog? If you don’t, there is always the pet store.
Watching puppies or kittens play always seems to put a smile on everyone’s face. Another way would be to watch cat videos.
Getting a smile on your teens face is always a plus, even if it helps them to forget that stress even for a little bit.
Watch a comedy
Comedies are always great to watch when you need a good laugh.
Science proves that laughing decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
Have your teen find a hilarious movie and watch it together.
Take a bath
Get out the bubbles or bath bombs and suds up because taking a bath can be very relaxing.
There is nothing wrong with your teen learning how to pamper themselves at a young age. This can be something that they carry on into adulthood when stressed.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Everyone needs water to survive, it maintains temperature, removes waste, and lubricates your joints. Water is needed for overall good health and you should drink 6-8 glasses each day.
There are other ways that your teen can get hydrated besides just drinking water such as eating certain fruits or vegetables. For example, watermelon and tomatoes.
There are also certain sports drinks but make sure to read the labels for high levels of sodium or added sugars and make sure that your teen is exercising.
Be A Role Model
Monkey see, monkey do.
When your teen was younger did they ever watch you do something and then try to mimic it themselves?
Children look up to their parents and yes even as a teenager they still do, usually without knowing it.
Show them that even as an adult you still take the time to relieve your stresses as well. They will see this and naturally follow because they still do look up to you.
Teens can become so wrapped up in their lives that they forget to relax and just take a deep breath. This is a time in their life where they really need to learn how to deal with stress and we as parents need to guide them on the right path.
Helping your teen deal with their stress is crucial because if they can’t deal with the stresses at a younger age then more issues will resolve later on.
This would include depression and possible suicidal ideation. Guiding them towards a healthier way on how to deal with stress will help them as they grow into adulthood.