Ingenio Category: Family Coaching
The world today isn’t the same as the world 20 years ago. In a short span of time, our connectivity with the community (local and global) has increased tenfold. Being constantly and consistently wired to flowing information hubs led to the heightened demand for instant gratification. Increased (and growing!) media influence plays a huge role in teens growing up faster than usual. Unfortunately, all of this translates to increased levels of stress experienced by teenagers.
While in the earlier stages of the Facebook generation parents may have been able to shield their children more from this digital onslaught, it’s unrealistic and unreasonable to continue thinking that way. The world is evolving, and families need to evolve with it. As stress is related to many illnesses (mental and physical), it is important for parents to teach their teens how to recognize and deal with stress rather than guard them from the source completely. Teaching stress reducing techniques will not only lower their anxiety throughout their day-to-day lives, but allow them to build blocks for greater happiness and success for their futures.
Here are 5 tips to help your teen manage and reduce stress:
1. Be involved in your teen’s life. Be supportive.
You don’t always need outside help with this. Every day, focus on being as involved as possible in your teen’s life. Know their interests, ask them about their frustrations, ask about their friends, and show that you genuinely care about who your teen is and who they want to grow to be.
2. Communicate with your teen.
Keep a thoughtful and honest line of communication open with your teen. Ask them how their day went. You know them better than anyone, right? Well, if you notice that something seems off, ask them about it. Don’t allow your teen to shut you out. Stay calm and express your concern and love. Most importantly, do not be judgmental. This will only cause more stress and weaken trust.
3. Be a great role model.
Oftentimes, parents find their teen opposing their authority. If you talk to teens, many times they’ll tell you the core of their resistance lies in pinpointing contradictions in their parents’ words and actions. Being a good role model means not just spouting strong principles, but abiding by those principles yourself. Don’t just say you’re the person you want your children to be, truly be that person. They’ll notice.
4. Make quality time.
It seems harder and harder to come by quality time, especially as a family in a fast-paced society. Spending family time together is the greatest buffer against stress, drug abuse, giving in to peer-pressure, and early sexual activity. Spending time together allows families to appreciate one another on a deeper level.
5. Offer praise and encouragement to your teen.
Your teen may give you a hard time much of the time, but it’s your job as a parent to recognize them for doing the right thing. Reward bravery, attempts at new things, and hard work. It may be dismissed by your child at first, but positive praise will last with them, and they’ll know that you’re paying attention and really care.