The end of the school year can be an overwhelming time for many high school students. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult for many young people to recognize and articulate when they are feeling stressed. Rather than saying “I feel stressed” your child might say “I have a stomachache” or “I’m not sleeping at night.” Some teens may become irritable, impatient, angry, or even aggressive when they are feeling stressed. Others may become anxious, scared, or panicky. As a parent, paying attention to the signs and symptoms of stress can help you recognize and help your child if he or she is struggling.
Tips for Helping your Stressed Teen:
- The biggest predictor of ability to cope is how well his or her parent(s) cope. Parents can help by paying attention to their own stress levels and modeling good stress-management behaviors.
- Take the time to check in with your child and let him or her know that you are available if he or she needs to talk. Young people who have a positive relationship with their parents often feel better about themselves.
- Help your child develop a routine.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep is a crucial factor in managing stress.
- Encourage healthy eating and exercise.
- Talk to your child about stress and identify a list of positive ways to cope. For example: talk to a positive support, listen to music, read or write, take a bath, go for a walk, spend time with friends, or participate in an enjoyable activity.
Abbey Wollschleger, LISW-S
Family Support Team Leader
Huckleberry House, Inc.