Adolescence is a time of many emotional and physiological changes. One such change is how an adolescent responds to stressors. Adolescents may experience stressors ranging from the school environment to friends, to home and family life, and may extend as far as global social issues. What creates disabling stress in one adolescent may not have the same affect on another. Stress may ignite a feeling of uneasiness in the adolescent. Adolescents who undergo stress may display the following:
Increased arguments with parents and siblings
Low self-esteem, shame, and guilt
Poor impulse control, self-destructive behavior, and aggression
Social isolation and difficulty relating to and empathizing with others
Difficulty in concentrating
Low academic performance
In the time of stress, parents can be a great source of support. Parents may help the adolescents in managing their stress by following techniques:
1. Being aware of the adolescent's behaviors and emotions.
2. Being available and open to talk with the adolescent when he or she is ready.
3. Building trust and being connected.
4. Modelling approaching behavior, self-care, and positive thinking.
5. Encouraging physical activity, good nutrition, sleep hygiene and rest.
6. Encouraging healthy and diverse friendships.
7. Using encouragement and negative enquiry as techniques when facing poor consequences.
8. Seeking the assistance of a trained professional to help the adolescent who may be facing crisis.
Parental support and guidance, and healthy coping strategies, can significantly equip adolescents to manage stress and lead a positive life.
"Stress Management is life management. If you take control of your stress, your life will thank you for it." - Shereka Dunston