By Zara Lewis
Your teens belong to the generation of Millennials and there is a lot of pressure put on them, mainly in terms of changing the face of economy in an extremely competitive environment and even wider – transforming the world. Technology and economic disruption play a major part of the arena teenagers grow up in. All of this may be hard for parents to comprehend because of the generation gap, but the fact lies in the following: teens are stressed out and it’s no joke. Here’s how you can show your support and help them through it.
Talk openly about social media
More than ever, teenagers are insecure and self-conscious of their looks. This has to be one of the main reasons they are stressed out, and it can lead to severe problems, such as depression, eating disorders, or body dysmorphia. Social media is taking the toll on teens, but there are pros and cons of it. Interesting notion of “Facebook depression” emerged, explaining thoroughly how all of us use social media. Teens are even more prone to it since they need a sense of belonging. Dangers of social networks lie in the vulnerability of teens and their honest belief that their peers lead better lives than them. While spending time on Facebook and Instagram should make them feel more connected and mentally balanced, it often does quite the opposite – makes them feel worthless. As a parent, try approaching your child in a friendly way and have a conversation about how fake lives online can be easily constructed. Teach your teens to be more skeptical and encourage them to focus on spending their time developing skills instead of wasting it on scrolling through the newsfeed.
Physical activity is crucial
According to the Harvard Health, exercising can be understood as a form of healthy physical stress that helps with handling the mental one. Besides the obvious health benefits such as weight control, energy boosting, heart strengthening, and feeling more confident, exercising brings brain chemistry in balance and helps one relax. Encourage your teen to participate in any kind of sport or activity: from swimming, cycling, and jogging to basketball or gym. With a constant growing market, there is even an option of choosing the basic workout equipment and making a personal space for your teen at home. A few dumbbells, an elliptical trainer or an exercising ab wheel make a wallet-friendly way of designing a workout sanctuary where your teen could vent out.
Ensure they get a good night sleep
One of the main reasons of irritability and anxiety is not getting enough shut-eye. If your teen started suffering from insomnia, it’s certainly due to psychological factors. Make sure their room is sleep-friendly: ventilate it regularly for air to stay fresh, take care of air humidity and temperature, even scents such as lavender can help induce sleep. The right kind of mattress is also important, as well as avoiding screen-time. Your teen should stay away from the TV, computer, and the mobile phone before bed because the artificial light stimulates the brain and signals it to wake up. Rest is necessary for healthy functioning of teens, but if your loved one simply can’t fall asleep or suffers from sleep deprivation – maybe there’s a problem with the levels of melatonin. Consult a doctor in any case.
Don’t put additional pressure on them
We all know that being a parent is hard: you want to correct mistakes your parents made while raising you, but you don’t want to smother your kids. There is a fine line between you wishing the best for them so they reach their fullest potentials, and pressuring them into becoming overachievers. You need to let your children feel how proud you are of them without pushing them too far: it’s the only way to help them become more confident and less stressed out.
Being a teenager today is a significantly different experience than it was for previous generations (e.g. Generation X and Baby Boomers). Try to be understanding and support them through the stressful times.