I was catching up with a friend to whom I haven’t spoken in several months. She asked the one question everyone asks. “How are your kids doing?” It’s literally one of the first questions I get when chatting with anyone. Do you get asked that, too?
It’s understandable that we’re often asked about our kids. We’re seven months into situation we thought would only last a month or two. My answer is usually, “we are fine.” We keep adjusting and adapting to whatever the situation brings. It feels weird to say it though, because I think we are all in a state of what I call “change fatigue.” While some normalcy has come back for us like marching band and football, it’s just not the same. Nor will it ever be.
The teen years naturally bring all kinds of stress, from social interactions to knowing that once you graduate, you must have a plan.
Here are some signs that your teen might be suffering from stress:
- Unexpected emotional outbursts
- Dropping grades
- Changes in eating habits
- Haywire emotions
- Withdrawal from the family
- Changes in physical appearance
- Lack of social or “hanging out” time
- Unhealthy sleeping habits
- Attitude heads south
Is your teen showing any of these signs? Here are some tips to help:
Communicate. Your family will certainly benefit from actively working on communication skills. When you fail to communicate effectively, you may not get what you want and can even cause upsetting misunderstandings. Working on communication will allow all family members to feel loved and appreciated and help the household run efficiently.
Have fun together. Sometimes, it feels like our family has had too much togetherness. But it’s important to continue scheduling fun quality time together. Plan family nights in advance, and allow each member a chance to choose that evening’s activity.
Show unconditional love. Practice the art of unconditional love with your family. This leads to secure attachments and will ultimately keep everyone happy and stress-free. Kids and parents alike need to know that, when they make mistakes, they have a loving family that will back them up and forgive them.
For even more guidance to help your teen cope with stress, download our Action Guide, “Is Your Teen Stressed Out?” here.