We are parenting a generation of stressed out teens. Here is some hard data from American Psychological Association :
- 59% of teenagers say that balancing all of their activities causes stress.
- 40% say they neglect home responsibilities due to stress.
- 40% say they’re irritable due to stress
- 37% said stress causes them to feel overwhelmed
- 36% say they feel tired because of stress.
- 30% say they feel sad or depressed because of stress.
These numbers aren’t surprising. We are asking teens to put in a full day of work (school), engage in several extracurricular activities, and then they get home and DO MORE WORK. Generally, I am the type of psychologist (and mom) that thinks we helicopter our parents too much and we need to help them develop some coping skills. But when it comes to teenagers, it’s too much. Expectations for teens are too high and we, our whole society, must begin to change that.
In the meantime, though, teens and families are increasingly feeling peer pressure to do more and work harder in order to give their kids access to a good life. It’s so easy to look around and say, “That kid is playing two sports and an instrument. We must do it for Jimmy or Jane, too!” Even if you DON’T think that way, it is totally normal to have a little anxiety that your kid won’t be successful if they don’t keep up. Additionally, if your kids are wired to have a little more anxiety/sensitivity than the rest of the world (if you are reading this I bet this is you!), then their level of stress can be absolutely overwhelming at times.
So us parents are kind of stuck. On one hand we DON’T want our kids to be stressed out, yet on the other we are scared that they won’t make it if they aren’t. And the social change that I talked about before isn’t happening fast enough for the kids that are growing up NOW.
So to help all of us, including myself, I’ve put together a little series of podcasts that I’m calling ‘Parenting Stressed Out Teens’ that will hopefully hit some of the nuances related to this phenomena. The series includes all the hits, including sleep, mental fitness, managing pressure, the college application process, and more! Below is a list of our most popular pods that we hope can help you. We will add more as we build out this resource because, believe me, I’m talking about it a lot!
As always, thanks for listening and let me know some of the challenges that you’re facing in your parenting!
Active and Connected Families:
Dropping on Thursday, Nov. 10th!
Social Anxiety… and Tammy Taylor and Tony Bennett???: Parenting Stressed Out Teens Ep 5
The Daily, because I am an avid podcast consumer and this is a great overview!