Helping a stressed young person

Stress is an issue more and more for young people, according to both young people and parents we’ve spoken with. 

stressWhile it can be impossible to rid our lives entirely of stress, learning to manage it effectively is a good skill for life.

What are the causes of stress for young people today?

There are a number of things that can cause stress for young people, some of these could be:

  • exams
  • friendships
  • relationships
  • being unable to connect with others, or not ‘fitting in’
  • problems at school or work
  • being over-worked
  • sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • body image
  • moving to a new place
  • traumatic event – such as the death of a loved one
  • new or chronic illness or disability
  • peer pressure, being bullied
  • unrealistic expectations of themselves
  • unrealistic expectations placed on them by friends, family or culture.

Dealing with your son or daughters stresses be challenging. In some cases it can make them bottle it all up and save it for the family home. Which in turn creates conflict among the rest of the family.

How you can help

Have the conversation to see if you can identify what is going on for them. Let them do the talking here and listen.

Don’t minimise

Whatever is causing them stress may not seem like a big problem to you but their reaction shouldn’t be ignored. Let them tell you how it’s having an impact.

Support without taking over

Whatever they’re going through, it can be better not to jump in and solve it for him/her. Step in when required, but also, be ready too to take a step back from it.

Stress is normal

Your son or daughter might be stressed about something and just talking it over with you can help it not get bigger in their heads. Let them know that stress is completely normal may help put him/her at ease.

Encourage perspective

They may be exaggerating the problem, but don’t deny the existence of it. Instead, encourage them to get some perspective, by using examples they can relate to.

Look out for yourself

Make sure you are looking after yourself in addition to your family. Don’t underestimate the impact of your own mood on your son or daughter.

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