Stress has made in-roads into the teen years. The problems of coping with exams, the need to score high enough marks to say ahead of the large and competitive pack, the confusions of a changing body and emotional highs and lows all contribute to stress. The lives of today’s teenagers are complicated also because of changing social values, which often conflict with parental dictums. There are also the pressures of fitting in and looking good. The beauty pageants (both Miss and Mr. India) set up unrealistic expectations in the minds of a child and there is no way that his body will completely match those expectations.
How can a parent make a difference? Well firstly understand that fears and worries are an essential part of growing up. The child does not at this stage have sufficient experience to put his fears in perspective. You will have to do that using yourself and others as real life examples.
There are some effective stress busters that you can teach your children: –
- Teach your children to stand up to peer pressure.
- Be their friend and non-judgmental confidante. This will help to lower the stress levels by providing a caring support structure.
- Positive thinking – a child who only sees the worst in everything is more likely to suffer from stress related problems like depression or insomnia.
- Faith – teach your children to believe in something or somebody – not to rescue them but to give them strength in moments of crises.
- Happy memories – there are essential stress busters. A child without a storehouse of happy memories is vulnerable to stress.
- Regular exercise – it raises the endorphin levels in the brain making the child feel happier. It is also great for raising poor self-esteem related to poor body image.
- Critical and analytical thinking – a child, who cannot break up a problem into its more manageable components, is more likely to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
- Encourage a child to work and earn a little pocket money.
- Boost your child’s Self-confidence
- Help the child develop a hobby.
- Encourage friendships.
Teach him techniques of simple meditation. Or simply ask him to breath deeply whenever he is feeling stressed.
All the above are long term measures. In addition if you feel your child is getting stressed out try these instant remedies.
- Go for a walk with her.
- Listen to happy music together.
- Dance together.
- Tell jokes or laugher of any kind.
- Pamper the child.
- Go on a surprise trip a picnic.
- Talk it out.
- Take a break and work together or clean up the room.
Working and earning her own pocket money give her a feeling of being in control and not totally dependent upon circumstances. It contributes substantially to self-esteem.