Everyday pressures such as taking a test, participating in a competition or challenge, or performing in front of people may activate stress.
Stress- we hear the word quite often in today’s day and age, but do we really know what it means? Stress is the body’s reaction to pressure, threat or change. Stress triggers a surge of adrenaline that affects your nervous system. Everyday pressures such as taking a test, participating in a competition or challenge, or performing in front of people may activate stress. In these situations, some people perform well under pressure, and once the challenge is over, the stress response calms down. However, ongoing events or problems can cause long term stress. This can have a negative impact on your health. Stress can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system, which can further lead to diseases and complications.
Stress is now affecting teenagers more than ever. At age 13, 27% reported concerns of stress, and at age 18, the amount rose to 50% of Canadian teens. A combination of pressures from home, school, work, and relationships, and the transitions during this age contribute to stress amongst teenagers. Today’s technological and social innovations have changed family life so much, making the experience even harder. However, with the proper tools and assistance, stress can be effectively managed.
Here are some things parents can do to help their children cope with stress.
Listen to them
Hear out what they have to say and try to understand their point of view, feelings, and concerns. Ask questions and share positive thoughts and suggestions.
As parents, talk to your children about your expectations and goals and ask them what they think, want, and feel. Talk out solutions to problems and be willing to compromise sometimes. Good communications will lead to healthier relationships, and your child will be more willing to share their feelings and concerns with you.
Make sure your child knows that you will always be there to support them. Saying something as simple as “I love you” or “I’m really proud of you” can often go a long way. Learn to acknowledge your child’s efforts and praise them for what they have attempted, no matter the outcome.
Spend time together
Spend some time with your teen each week and make it a regular routine. Do different activities together, such as cooking, reading, watching a movie or going for a walk. Providing them with a stress-free zone can help take their mind off of things.
Teach them time management skills
Teach your child how to manage their time effectively to ensure they get all their tasks done. Get them to make a list and plan stuff out. Sometimes, a visual aid can help them sort out their tasks better.
Monitor their sleep
Teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep every night. However, between schoolwork and various extracurricular activities, getting enough sleep can sometimes become a challenge. One way to help is monitoring your child’s screen time. Set screen time limits for your children and restrict all screens 1-2 hours before bed.