Let’s face it, being a teenager is hard! Between doing well in school, performing on sports teams or other after-school activities, balancing a social life, and dealing with changes that come with getting older, it’s almost impossible to avoid stress altogether. If your teenager is experiencing stress brought on by getting older and gaining more responsibility, this is the article for you.

As a parent, we want to support our children and help them navigate hardships while also empowering them to handle situations independently. In this blog, we will explore tips and tricks to help your teenager handle stress in a healthy and sustainable way.

Encourage Communication

When it comes to parenting your teenager, healthy communication is key. Be sure to do some reflecting before you speak with your teenager and establish boundaries that you wish to meet. Remember, your child is not meant to be your best friend, even as they get older and are exposed to more mature topics and situations. Encourage positive communication between the two of you by sharing expectations for your relationship, and letting them know you are there to support them in times of stress and anxiety.

Promote Healthy Stress-Management Techniques

In stressful situations, we can often lash out in unnecessary and unhealthy ways. Try to promote healthy stress management techniques in your household and encourage your teenager to do the same.

For example, try to promote family walks after dinner to clear your head and get a bit of movement in before bedtime. You can also introduce new after-school hobbies that are calming, such as crafting, collaging, doing a puzzle, or volunteering at a local animal shelter. Finding purpose in healthy ways during stressful times can help your teenager cope and overcome anxieties.

Set Expectations That Are Attainable and Realistic

Remember to spell expectations for yourself and your teenager that are both attainable and realistic. Teenagers are undergoing extreme hormonal changes, so you can’t always expect them to react to things in a healthy way 100% of the time.

Communicate with your teenager and let them know that you understand they’re going through changes and experiencing situations that are entirely new to them. Learning how to overcome these obstacles is a process that may take some trial and error. Support your team by reminding them that these emotions are normal, and that there are ways to handle them in a healthy way.

Monitor Online Activity and Usage

In today’s modern age of technology, monitoring your teen’s online activity and usage cannot only help you keep them safe but also lower their exposure to potential stress.  In times of heightened stress and anxiety, teenagers may rely on connections they have built online to get them through. They may also be using online resources that are not backed by science and trying to incorporate these coping mechanisms into their routines.

Monitor what your team is viewing and engaging with online, while also promoting healthy amounts of screen time can make a big difference in their overall mental health.

Be a Positive Role Model and Practice What You Preach!

As always, be sure to check in with yourself as a parent and make sure that you are taking care of YOU! You cannot pour from an empty cup, so be sure to practice what you preach and reflect on your own stress management techniques so that you are setting the best example for your teenagers.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

As a parent, it can be challenging to seek help. However, it is important to remember that you are not a licensed professional, and sometimes seeking help from a clinician is necessary. To gain professional insight and coaching to help support your team through stressful times, be sure to contact our professionals at NeuroBehavioral Associates today.