In child counseling, many of the teenagers who come in looking for help are those who have a hard time dealing with life’s stressors. For teens, the stresses they face include schoolwork, dealing with parents and siblings, peer relationships and much more. Changing hormones only exacerbate and amplify those stressors to the point that teens can become frustrated with their inability to deal with them. Inability to cope with stress can lead to a number of problems, like anger, self-harm and addiction.
Not knowing how to cope with stress doesn’t begin in the teen years, though. We’ve all seen those children at the grocery store or mall – the ones who fling themselves on the ground, crying because they can’t have something they really want. For small children, stress takes different forms. Children get stressed by things like not receiving immediate gratification for wants and not getting undivided parental attention. Teaching children how to cope with these more simplistic stressors is easier than teaching them to cope with complicated stressors in adolescence.
If you have a teen who’s experiencing stress, there are some things you can do to help them cope with what they’re feeling:
Give Them Your Undivided Attention
Yes, small children crave their parents’ undivided attention and it often seems that teens crave their parents’ undivided indifference. The reality is that teens, even the surliest ones, still need and want the love, attention and advice their parents can offer. Make sure your teen knows that you care about them and that you’re available to talk anywhere, any time. Talking about stress can make all the difference, to children and adults, even if no advice is asked for or offered.
Don’t Solve Every Problem For Them
Children need to fail to learn. As a parent, it can be difficult to see failure coming and to let it happen without intervening. If you spend your life solving all of your children’s problems, you can be sure that when they reach their teenage years, they won’t have any experience in working around a problem, especially one that is making life difficult. That doesn’t mean you have to leave them completely untethered. You can offer advice when asked and you can cheer them on when they figure something out for themselves.
Get Them Professional Help
If you don’t feel you are able to help your teen cope with stress and the stress seems to be debilitating or leading your teen down a dark road, don’t be afraid to get help. No parent has the right answer in every situation. With the help of good child counseling, your teen can learn to identify problems and can give him someone to talk freely to without fear of being judged. A professional counselor won’t solve your teen’s problems with stress, but she will help your teen develop coping skills that will serve him into adulthood.
If you feel your child is under stress, get great child counseling from Insight Child & Family Counseling. Call (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to make an appointment and to find out more about our practice.