Stress comes in all shapes and sizes that we may or may not be aware of at any given time. Sometimes we carry other people’s stress, it’s important to identify your own stress from others as there are different ways we can use to get rid of them! I really wanted to explore this further because it’s massively important in the way we function on a daily basis, and can completely alter the way we behave, communicate and parent. I’m very passionate about helping you with your teenager/s whether they’re in the process of sitting exams or experiencing stress from other angles. Being able to become more aware of stress and how to manage it no matter what age is vital for well being and effective communication!
So do you know the typical signs of stress?
- Less or more sleep
- Poor or increased appetite
- Inability to relax
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Constantly worrying
- Seeing only negatives
- Hitting the substances – alcohol – Cigarettes
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Aches and pains
- Feeling overwhelmed
I’m sure you can tick more than one you have or are experiencing at one given time and they all affect us in different ways. Sometimes we can get so used to dealing with stress as part of our everyday lives it almost becomes a ‘given’. But it doesn’t have to! One way to ensure stress isn’t inherited is by identifying and educating.
So does your teenager know that these are all signs of stress?
Sometimes the reason a teenager doesn’t tell you something is because they do not want to worry you. What they don’t realise is that this is a perpetual cycle of stress for both of you because you both end up worrying in silence. This is because they’re too worried to share and you’re too worried to ask!!!!
Is any of this sounding familiar?
I can hear the ‘yes’s from every corner of the planet because I know from experience this is very common within a parent and teen relationship. In fact I can guarantee you that if it’s not explored and talked about NOW then it will continue way into adult life and beyond until one of you communicate to the other or learns how to change it. Surely it’s important to be able to communicate in such a way that you are both comfortably happy with sharing concerns or questions?
The answer is surely most definitely YES, so let’s cut to the chase and help towards changing that cycle right now!!!
Being able to communicate also means knowing that you want guidance or knowing the message you want to teach. Now I don’t just mean 2+2=4. By this I mean, “You look tired, how are you finding your exams?” or “Having time to relax is important, it would be really nice to spend some time together so what would you like to do?” Sometimes we can be so caught up in the moments of life we miss some very valuable opportunities to make changes. Being open to making changes means being open to changing the way we communicate sometimes. Building a more communicative relationship with your teenager can take time but believe me, the rewards will continue well into their adult life and will continue within their relationships too because you’ve taught them. (The thought of making in impact on future generations through communicating is astounding!!!!)
So here’s a sure fire list to help make those changes!
- Creating an environment where your teenager feels free to share how they feel is what it takes to help them open up.
- Being in touch and open with our own emotions too.
- Showing that you are not invincible but knowing and showing how to deal with situations positively and productively are key elements in role modelling ‘how to deal with stress.’ It’s ok to say “I have found this difficult but what I found really effective was……..”
- Being open to listening to them is equally as important, your teenager goes beyond being your child and they’re picking up skills from lots of different places. So who knows they may even be able to help you!
- Having an awareness that in every conversation lies an opportunity
- Celebrating success, contributions and achievements
Individually and/or together these steps will make a huge difference in being able to communicate more effectively, not only about stress but everything and anything else for that matter!
So whether you love it or you hate it, stress can be a very positive experience in bringing your relationship closer together. And that really is something to talk about!