Most people associate stress with adults and seniors.
It is a fact that more and more teens and young children are also dealing with stress. Teenagers today have more pressure placed on them than ever before. Examples of that could be that they are expected to be more social, or they feel pressured to excel at school.
Young children spend more time today with their friends than you may have done at the same age. While it is great for them to be social and interact with others, there is also a downside to this.
Today’s teenagers are often pressured into trying out drugs, smoking and even having sex at an early age. The use of drugs and alcohol by under aged children is on the rise, and this can lead to other problems. The fear of not being one of the “in crowds” is huge and pushes teens to do things they usually wouldn’t.
This had led to report of groups of boys raping young school girls, of children being bullied and more. In many cases, the consequences have been devastating for everyone involved. The victims have been driven to end their lives and the perpetrators end up in juvenile detention centers or even in jail.
The pressure of getting good grades and homework can add stress to any child. With so much competition for jobs, teens are pressured to attend college and university and strive for that perfect career. It can be hard for any young teen to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives, let alone choose their career path.
All of these choices can become a burden in teens. When the pressure gets too high, they can start to rebel in different ways. Many will act out with behavior that is unnatural for them. They may become sick more often, eat more, gain weight, or just start to withdraw into themselves.
Parents sometimes unknowingly pressure their children with good intentions. They enroll them into lots of after school programs, which only increases their burden. They actually have less time to get their homework done and often offset this by not sleeping enough. Lack of sleep can cause stress and other mental health related issues.
If you suspect that your teen is suffering with stress, find a way to talk to them about it, and offer them options for dealing with it. This may be just to opt out of some after school activities, or they may prefer to talk to a school counselor. By providing teens with opportunities, they will have choices that they can make.