Helping Teens Cope With Stress
Check out this article on tips to help teenagers cope with stress. So many of the strategies are simply helping teens recognize the good things that are happening in their lives and in the world. I like number 5, which says "let the negative emotion run its course" and then gently help the teen to reappraise. It's important not to rush this process. When your teen feels out of sorts, help her identify the emotion and offer sympathy and support while the emotion peaks and ebbs, just like you did when she was little and her emotions got the best of her. After the storm has subsided, then you can step in and help her try to look at the problem from a different perspective. But the key is to do this very gently! No one likes to be told in any shape or form, "It's not that bad" when they are feeling stressed. I also like number 9 which suggests helping teens to see the bigger picture. It's very hard for teens to visualize the future. It's a brain thing. During the teenage years, the part of the brain that is able to accurately imagine things that haven't happened yet is not fully developed. That's why teens engage in such risky behaviors; they can't really imagine the consequences of their actions yet. They may be able to verbalize what they've been taught the consequences are, but on their own, they can't effectively imagine them the way an adult can. So, it's good to help them through this process. "Will this matter in ten years? Will it matter in 5 years? Will it matter in one year? How about next month? Next week?" Those kinds of questions, with time for them to ponder, are helpful. Enjoy the article: Positive Emotions: Helping a Teen with LD Cope Better With Stress.
Oh, and one more thing: the best way to help a kid cope with stress is to learn to cope well with it yourself! So, maybe try some of these tips out on YOU!
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