You know when you have a bad day and it seems like nothing is going right.  Well teenagers have days just like that as well.  Sometimes it is easy as a parent to get lost in the fantasy of our lost youth.  But being a kid is tough.

And it is especially tough and stressful on kids to live with all of the changes that are happening in their day-to-day life.  Keeping up with the right look and clothes, living with the ups and downs of MySpace and Facebook, and interacting on a daily basis with other teens who are going through the same stressors that they are can get overwhelming.

Of course the sources of stress in a teens life wouldn’t be complete without including:
•    Adjusting to a constantly changing body
•    The constant presence and temptation to try drugs and alcohol
•    Newly awakened sexual feelings and desires
•    Pressure to do well in school
•    Taking on too many activities at one time

So what can you do to help your teen handle this stress and develop into the amazing person that you know they are?  Sometimes it is about returning to the basics as a means to take pressure off both parents and teens. Sharing time together and also respecting each other’s need for privacy and alone time.

Here are a few things that you can all try together to release stress for both parents and teens.
•    Exercising and eating regular meals. Maybe even doing it together as a family.
•    Avoiding excessive caffeine especially the kind hidden in energy drinks.
•    Find time to enjoy activities such as music, art, hiking, yoga, and sports.
•    Talk about problems.  The more you try to hide things in the family the more stressful things can become around the house.
•    Turn off the T.V. occasionally and spend some quality time together
•    Respect your teens need to sometimes do absolutely nothing

As adolescents learn to handle stress along with their parents it can create a set of skills that will assist teens throughout their entire life.  Another valuable asset can be connecting with a qualified therapist who specializes in teen issues and can work with the family to build the tools necessary to create success.

So remember to love your teen for all their unique qualities and recognize that the stress in their lives is real and needs to be cared for so their lives and yours can be fun and enjoyable.

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