My daughter recently turned 13, ushering in that infamous stage known as adolescence. Although this term "adolescence," from the Latin word, adolescere -- "maturation or emancipation," focuses on what teens experience during this time, I selfishly submit that this transition is even more stressful on parents of teens than on teens themselves. Beyond the stress of dealing with her desire for independence and emotional volatility, it's not fair that when I get annoyed at her, my eye muscles don't have the dexterity to produce a perfectly circular eye roll the way her eye muscles are clearly able to do when I annoy her.
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Do you romanticize your teen years with memories of hanging out with friends, dancing at homecoming, and participating on a winning sports team? Or do you remember the gory details of every breakup, every failed test, and every bad hair day? Whether your memory is reality or revisionism, somewhere you must remember the feeling of stress.
According to data collected by the American Psychological Association for the Stress in America Survey, teen stress rivals that of adults. Results of the survey show that not only do teens identify that their stress levels are not healthy, but they also underestimate the impact stress has on their mental and physical health. All teens experience some amount of stress, and some stress can even be healthy.
As providers and caretakers, adults tend to view the world of children as happy and carefree. After all, kids don't have jobs to keep or bills to pay, so what could they possibly have to worry about? Stress is a function of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them.
Teen stress is an important health issue. The early teen years are marked by rapid changes — physical, cognitive, and emotional. Young people also face changing relationships with peers, new demands at school, family tensions, and safety issues in their communities.
A clinical psychologist for 30 years and a UVA professor of education, Sheras has spent his career exploring what makes teens tick. He has also weathered the adolescent storms of his own two children, now ages 26 and So he knows, on a raw personal level, just how inadequate adolescents can make parents feel.
Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress every day and can benefit from learning stress management skills. Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Some sources of stress for teens include:.
Tantrums, defiance, moodiness, intense emotions, impulsive and reckless conduct. Sometimes it may be hard to believe, but no, your teenager is not an alien being from a distant planet. Your teen may be taller than you and seem mature in some respects, but often they are simply unable to think things through on an adult level. Hormones produced during the physical changes of adolescence can further complicate things.