close ad

Teens Under Stress and Pressure: How Can You Help?

Secret Signs of Stress

You know what anxiety typically looks like in your kid: moodiness, irritability, sadness, sleeping problems. But here are five signs you might miss.

  • Hanging out with new friends who seem troubled
  • Nervous mannerisms they didn't have before
  • Complaints of headaches or diarrhea
  • Skipping meals
  • Unexplained marks on the body (signs of cutting, for example)

Pass-Along Stress

Don't transfer your anxiety to your kid. Learn to manage your own tension while teaching your child healthy coping mechanisms. Some simple dos and don'ts:

DON'T... hide your stress. "Letting children know that Mom and Dad have pressure too and that this is how they cope with it normalizes it for them," says Dr. Gault.

DO... model how to unwind. With your kids, set up a calming nighttime routine. Reading is a natural choice, but playing a board game can be a good way for the entire family to decompress together.

DON'T... stay online. Set a time to unplug and stick to it. That means no work e-mails, texting or updating your photos on Facebook after a certain hour on weeknights and on weekends. Being digitally connected all the time can contribute to your own stress and sends the message to your kids that it's okay for them to be continually connected as well.

Originally published in the September 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

Health Disclaimer
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.


Related Topics in Emotional Health