Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Is Your Stressed Out Teen Stressing You Out!?
USA TODAY: Teens “Bad Habits;” Unable to Manage Stress

Image: Chart by USA Today “Teens and Stress: Bad Habits Begin Early”
Online survey of 1,018 U.S. teens (ages 13-17) and 1,950 adults (18+) by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association, August 2013
Credit: Frank Pompa, USA TODAY   

"When teens report their own level of stress, it is typically much higher than parents would report of their teen's level of stress."*
~ Kristen Race, author of the book Mindful Parenting

“…hard numbers tell us kids are more anxious and depressed than they've ever been."*
~ Michael Bradley, a psychologist in Feasterville, Pa.

It’s clear to us here at PeapodLife that life has become more hectic and stressful for adults. How is the increased pace and intensity affecting young people? And, is there a connection between the two?

According to a recent survey of 1,000 teens and almost 2,000 adults, over 60% of teens reported moderate to extreme stress in the past month. That figure jumps to over 80% reporting moderate to extreme stress in the past school year, with over a quarter of teens reporting extreme stress.

While naysayers and indeed, some experts may claim the findings are erroneous, that teens will gladly use stress as an excuse for classic adolescent behaviours, even the most cynical cannot deny the hard facts and figures staring them in the face.

For complete details, we encourage you to check out the USA TODAY article for yourself.

What do we do about it?

Well, although we are living in the era of hyper-parenting and the instinct of some parents may be to try to eliminate stress entirely from their children’s lives, this is not a level-headed approach.

Stress is a part of life, and sheltering young people from all stress in their formative years may be setting them up for a rude awakening later on. That said, too much stress can clearly overwhelm young people. When they are unable to cope with healthy stress levels, teens develop unhealthy coping strategies.

PeapodLife suggests it is impossible to control the circumstances of life—the relentless accelerating march of progress in the macro environment beyond the home.

PeapodLife knows, however, it is entirely possible to create a sanctuary to help cope with the circumstances of life—a safe, healthy rejuvenating micro environment within the home.

Sure, teens can exercise, meditate, listen to music, read books, play video games, or just relax in the soothing sounds, fresh air and renewing energy field of a rainforest ecosystem. I think we can agree these are all better coping mechanisms than eating junk food, smoking, etc.

An ecosystem will help a teen deal with extreme stress better in the moment. When they find themselves with a mountain of homework, or a tight deadline creeping up for college entry exams, a relaxing and supporting environment in their home may be what gives them the edge in school.

In any case, PeapodLife knows there is little more stressful to a parent than a witnessing their child struggling and/or suffering. Many of the fights adults and teens have is over “what’s best for them.” An ecosystem naturally fills a home with what’s best for everybody…

…and that can only mean good things for everyone living under the same roof.

*Quotes from: “Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well” by Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
Source: usatoday.com: Health and Wellness: Teens feeling stressed, and many not managing it well

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