Who Is The Most Stressed Out, The Teen Or The Parent?
I’ve experienced both being an insecure teenager, and being a worried parent, and I can honestly say it’s a toss up regarding who is the most stressed out.
As a teenager, I had anxiety pumping through my body most of the time because of my insecurities, my friends shunning me, a boyfriend treating me poorly, my clothes, my complexion and the pressures of homework. I know as an adult these don’t seem like big deals, but they are when you are a teen.
As a parent, I also had my share of anxiety running through me, with worrying about my daughters (big one), my job, my relationships, and the household duties, cleaning and bills etc. I was a single parent so instead of having 2 people in the house to bear the burden, it was just me. I know there are a lot of single parents out there dealing with the same issues I went through. Parenting is hard enough with 2 participating parents, when you take one away it gets really tough.
I’ve put some tips together for parents on dealing with the stresses of their own lives and also how to support their teens through stressful times.
Tips For Parents To Support Their Teen:
- Encourage your teen to talk about what is bothering them, listen to them, allowing them to explore their feelings
- Give them positive reinforcement, watch the negative talk
- Teach them how to problem solve, asking them questions about their stresses, and talk about solutions, together
- Pick your battles wisely, try to let the small stuff go (clean bedroom, the way they are dressed), it only adds pressure
- Help them with their homework if needed
- Encourage them to participate in hobbies they like
- Go to the gym together, this is a great stress reducer
- Hugs them a lot, touch soothes stress
- Let them know that you are there for them, and they are not alone
Tips For Parents To Relieve Their Stresses:
- Make sure you are on a good exercise regiment
- Pay attention to alcohol intake, it can add to anxiety
- Don’t ignore your problems, face them head on
- Practice Meditation
- When you are feeling overly stressed out during the day, close your eyes and breathe for a moment
- Do nice things for yourself, take baths, trade foot rubs with your teen, get a massage
- Make sure your being creative, not just working, and tending to the kids
- Share daily chores with the whole family
- Make sure you are taking care of business, not letting things pile up, physically and emotionally
- Reach out to friends for support
Stress can hurt us physically, and beat us up emotionally, so it’s important to pay attention and do what we can to reduce it. Today’s economic times in general are very stressful; so try not to add to it. Realizing that we are on a journey with this thing called life and try not to take it so seriously. Enjoy the journey and know that what is happening in your life is meant to be for you to learn what lessons you need to learn.
I would love to hear how you have reduced stress in your life and how it has affected you.