With so many hassles and problems which the children, teens, adults and aged people have to face, stress starts early and is a major cause of concern. If you think there is relatively nothing children have to worry about, you cannot be farther from the truth. Life is equally challenging for all, especially the teens. Right from specific situational stress to every day stress of homework, there is a whole gamut of emotions that teens have to face right from school life to relationship issues.
Globalization has a lot of benefits but it has a fair share in increasing the burden of teen stress. Today’s teens in India are combating problems similar to those in the western world. The result is that the Indian teens today have the challenge to keep pace with their western counterparts while retaining their Indian values. Definitely tight ropes walk!
Let us try to talk about a few major concerns and stress bothering the teens today
• School life: High academic ambitions, living up to parents’ expectations, homework pressures, grades; all turn one of the most pleasurable phases of life into a harrowing experience. Today’s teens are not satisfied with moderate success, they have high aspirations, and these take a toll on them in the form of stress.
• Future: Generally, all teens are scared of what the future beholds. Will they be able to crack the competitive exams, get admitted to the right college, and make the right professional choice? They are so bothered about the future that they forget to enjoy the present and stress is all that they get.
• Relationships: No, we are not only talking about romantic liaisons, though they are definitely included. The emotional relationships of the teens to people and places, ideas and activities can also create a lot of stress for the teens.
• Societal pressure/Peer pressure: The teens especially are highly vulnerable to societal pressures in terms of how they look, the way they should behave, etc making their life full of stress.
What is even scarier is that these stressed teenagers are more prone to develop depression in their early adult life. According to Mark Ellenbogen, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, “Major depression has become one of the most pressing health issues in both developing and developed countries.”
He thinks that stress is one of the major contributors of the steady rise in depression, a raging health issue recognized by the World Health Organization as afflicting 121 million people worldwide. So it is best to handle stress at the earliest, before stress turns into something severe.
What do teens do to handle this stress? What positive coping mechanism do they fall back upon?
A few pointers on how you can help your child to keep them free from stress:
• Talk: It is essential that you talk to your child especially if he/she is a teenager. Discuss their life and talk about yours to them. Try teaching them coping mechanisms to deal with life issues and troubles.
• Praise: Never forget to complement and praise the children. Hugs and kisses are also important.
• Humor: Use humor to dispel bad situations. This will teach the child to use humor themselves to manage situations of stress.
• Don’t over-do things: Do not try enrolling your teen in every possible extracurricular activity class. Give them time and space to discover themselves. More importantly don’t stress them to top in whatever they do.
• Setting a good example: Set a good example for your teen. Practice self-control and restraint in front of them, so that they can follow you later.
• Get help: Do not hesitate to seek professional help if thing go out of control.
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