Coping Skills

Adolescence is the phase of one's development where learning positive coping mechanisms and problem solving skills can pave the way towards the development of responsible and productive adults. Lack of coping skills in adolescents may lead to dysfunctional behaviours like disturbed relationships, disruptive behaviour, low self-esteem, adjustment issues, etc. Teenage years are accompanied by a number of stressors. To tackle the difficulties faced by an adolescent in his/ her growing years, it's crucial to encourage them to develop positive coping skills as they also contribute in the longer-term to develop resilience and facilitate 
well-being.
 
The following skills can enhance an adolescent's coping mechanisms:
 
  • Developing a positive attitude and managing negative thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social skills to develop good peer relations and social support
  • Stress management skills, e.g., tolerance to distress, lifestyle management, time management
  • Emotional maturity and appropriate expression of emotions
  • Assertiveness and effective communication skills
  • Positive distraction techniques, e.g., yoga, meditation, mindfulness, etc.
 
Additionally, parents can also encourage effective coping in their adolescents by providing them with unconditional love and acceptance, providing an environment that allows open communication positively reinforcing and encouraging the child, giving quality time and creating a healthy family bond with balanced relationships. Evidence supports that adolescents who have effective coping skills are more likely to perform well academically, be well adjusted, have healthy and balanced relationships with friends and family members, are able to communicate and express themselves and have healthy self-concepts. Guidance and counselling provided by trained professionals, can facilitate the development of effective coping in adolescents by understanding the adolescent's needs, his/her anxieties, and then providing them an environment and the above mentioned skills to deal with these effectively. 
 
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."-Virginia Satir