Helping Your Teen Manage Stress
With the start of a new school year comes new teachers, new assignments and for some children – added stress.
According to the American Psychological Association, more than a quarter (27 percent) of teens say they experience extreme stress during the school year, compared with only 13 percent in the summer. And it’s easy to see why with the pressure society places on young people to be superstars in academics and extracurricular activities.
Stress or anxiety is not only an emotional challenge for many kids, but it can also cause health issues including:
- Reduced attention span
- Diminished motivation to succeed academically
- Trouble sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive behaviors
One of the biggest things you can do is to be a resource for your child – talk with them openly about what’s stressing them and help them find outlets to relax and have fun.
Stress management tips for your kids:
- Exercise, whether it’s playing sports, walking or dancing!
- Sleep for at least nine hours a night
- Balance work and play
- Find hobbies that bring you joy, like reading a book, going to the movies or drawing
- Talk through your problems with a parent, teacher or other trusted adult.
- Avoid negative self-talk.
- Limit caffeine.
As always, talk to your child’s primary care doctor if you notice your kid is often struggling with anxiety.