The topic of teens and stress has become a topic of conversation for many parents, teachers and healthcare providers. We now know that teens stress rivals that of adults. But are we really listening to our kids? Parents are juggling more now than ever before. Work, keeping up a household, kids activities, sports and what feels like a thousand other things. It’s stressful!
When teens tell their parents they’re stressed, it’s easy to shrug it off. They respond with comments like “you don’t know what stress is” or “you don’t have to worry about a mortgage, family, etc.”. The problem is when kids hear these seemingly well-intentioned comments, they may see them as a dismissal.
The truth is, teen stress matters.
Without a way to manage and mitigate stress, kids are experiencing the unwanted physical, emotional and psychological effects of stress. It can cause poor decision making, leading to risky choices. It can interfere with their ability to solve problems, and think ahead. Over time, difficulties in handling stress can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.
This video shows just some of the numerous things that cause stress for kids today. It’s pretty enlightening.
The next time your kid tells you they’re stressed, take it seriously and show them you care and understand.
Responding with validation and empathy can go a long way.