Teen Stress Management for Parents

What Ways Can You As A Parent Help Your Child With Stress Management?

Teen stress management not only involves the teenager as is often thought. Parents also have a huge role to play.

What are you doing as a parent to help your child with their stress?

This is an interesting question and I feel that many parents look in the wrong place. Many parents make the situation worse rather than better for their teens.

What do I mean by that?

What I mean is that instead of empowering their children, parents dis-empower them. Instead of giving their children tools to cope with and an example to follow, many parents add to their teens’ stress.

Parents’ Main Role in Teen Stress Management

The first question which has to be asked is “Are you as a parent stressed?" If you are, what are you doing to combat it?

This is your first role as a parent. By reducing the stress in your own life, you therefore help to reduce the stress in your child’s life.

Children are very sensitive and therefore they feel when their parents are stressed.

Think about your boss or work colleagues or even your partner. Do you know when they are stressed or angry? And do you keep away from them in case of stepping on their toes?

I’m sure that you do. Well, it’s the same for your children. They know when you are stressed and react accordingly.

So, your role as a parent is primarily to combat your own stress. This helps in 2 ways:

It creates a beautiful home environment

By lowering the levels of stress in your own household, you create an environment where your children can de-stress.

If you’re always angry and shouting, or depressed and stressed, it doesn’t make for a very pleasant environment to live in. Create a calm and relaxed space and you will see the effects directly in those around you (how do you feel when your partner or boss is really happy?)

You become a skillful teacher

By dealing with your own stress skilfully you teach your kids how to deal with stress. They learn your habits, so show them some good ones!

Taking Responsibility for Your Stress

As an adult you can start to take responsibility for your stress. Gone is the time when you can expect someone else to do everything for you or to blame someone else.

As a parent you have a responsibility to look after your children. But you can only look after them if you are looking after yourself.

Neglect yourself and you neglect your children. How can you truly give to them if you are not in a fit state to do so?

So start to take responsibility for your stress levels, if not for yourself, then in order to help your child with their teen stress management.

How Do You As a Parent De-Stress?

There are many, many tools available on this website, so please look around. Here are some which I can direct you to:

• Learn to meditate – click here here for instructions

• Get physical and into the body – click here for more details

• Learn how to cope with your workplace stress. We spend most of our days at work so by dealing with stress at work you benefit your family by not bringing the stress home.

• Make sure you feed yourself on all levels: emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and sexually. When you feed yourself on all levels you therefore have the energy to feed others.

• Don’t give yourself a hard time as a parent. We all make mistakes, but learn from them and be kind to yourself.

Tips for Teen Stress Management for Parents

Be Compassionate

It is stressful to be a teenager. Be compassionate towards your children. As you will remember from your own teenage years, these times can be really challenging. Give them love rather than judgment and hate. This is a really important tool for helping in teen stress management. Be compassionate.

Practice compassionate listening

The Dalai Lama teaches compassionate listening. He says that this means that you open your heart and listen. You listen to what your child has to say. Don’t add your own stuff in.

Be open to receiving exactly what they need to get off their chest. And if this means to not talk for the time they are speaking, so be it. Breathe and relax.

Keep lines of communication open

Let your children know that no matter how they feel that they can come and speak to you. Leave that space open for them.

As I have said before, a teenager has so many new emotions running round the body that this can be a really confusing time. Allow them to feel that they can get this off their chest.

Have firm boundaries

What do you accept and what do you not accept from your children. Communicate this clearly, the reasons for it and stick by them. Miscommunication only adds to stress.

Use a talking stick

This is a Native American tool. Find a stick which is about 1 -2 feet long and which has a special resonance with you. You can paint it or design it yourself.

When you want to discuss something with your child use this tool. When each person holds the stick, the other people must listen and not interrupt. When the first person has finished talking, it then passes between people until everyone has said their bit.

It is important to come from a place of how a situation makes you feel rather than as a criticism of the other person. E.g. I feel hurt when you talk rudely to me; I feel that you don’t respect me and that makes it hard for me to respect you in return…

Teaching them your tools

Once you have started to manage your own stress, you then start to empower your children in their own teen stress management.

But don’t force it upon them, allow them to come to you. They’ll be ready then.

These are just some ideas for teen stress management from the parents’ perspective. Keep being patient and kind, and everything will be fine.

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