Stress is at its highest in teens. In a survey from the American Psychological Association in 2018, teens were reporting the worst mental health, higher anxiety, and depression than any other age group. Some experts believe the statistics are probably much higher. Pounding heartbeats, sweaty hands, sick, nervous stomach – these are all signs of anxiety. People who are overcome by anxiety feel overwhelmed, become tongue-tied, and can’t function properly.
Anxiety disorders that are too intense to bear need to be dealt with. Parents need to see these signs in their teens and know how to manage anxiety to take the necessary action.
Tips To Improve Memory For Parents Of Anxious Teens
Nobody is sure or understands what causes anxiety in teens. Young people can be anxious over many different things. Some teens have a personality that is more prone to anxiety and stress or more prone to experiencing abuse and trauma in their lives. It is not unusual for some parents to feel helpless when they see their children hurting. But parents can make a big difference in their teen’s anxiety. Some tips for parents include:
1.Determine what is causing the anxiety
Parents should know what is triggering their teen’s anxious feelings – it could be anything from academics, to social situations, to bullying, to relationships, to threats – all of these things trigger huge anxiety in a child. Once you have identified the child’s major source of anxiety, it can help parents target the cause. If necessary, they can intervene or seek professional help if it is required.
2.Parents should stop themselves from stressing
A parent can help their teens if they can keep their own stress and anxiety under control. You might not realize it, but stress and anxiety are partially learned behaviors. Naturally, a young child sees how his parents behave in certain situations.
He quickly picks up those behaviors too. Children look to their parents for guidance and reassurance and if they see anxiousness in their parents, they learn to respond to situations in the same way.
3.Remove the environmental stressors
Did you know that the home you provide for your childis key to their happiness and mental health? If you, as the parents, use drugs and your young children and teens see the domestic violence and fighting going on, you can be assured you are contributing to their feelings of anxiety and negativity. Parents need to take the necessary steps to reduce those negative influencers. The best brain foods can be considered here too.
4.Maintain open communication
You should treat your child’s anxiety with honest communication. Those teens who suffer from stress and anxiety often become withdrawn. Sometimes, they will isolate themselves.
Knowing how to manage anxiety is crucial. Teens should know it’s okay to discuss their anxieties and fears. Parents also need to be aware of the rapid changes in their child’s behavior. Proper communication allows parents to teach their children good coping strategies, such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.
5.Involve your teen
Get your children and teens involved in social activities, like clubs, theatre, sports, and organizations. This plays a huge role in helping to avoid anxiety sources, such as drugs, bullying, sexting, social media stuff, and others
6.Recognize your teen’s fears but don’t indulge them
Don’t give your teen a reason to get worried. Your tone of voice and body language will give your anxieties away to your children. Recognize your child’s fears, but don’t indulge them and reinforce them. It is okay for them to be afraid, but set the example of not indulging them.
7.Spend time together
One way to take the focus off performance is to spend quality time with your teens. Go out with them if they are still living at home, explore nature together, and see how that can calm your mind and body. Leave space for a relationship with your teen, where he or she has nothing to do but be herself or himself. Teens should feel safe and able to let their guard down and be themselves.
8.Delight in your child
Always remember to praise your teen for their unique personality and character qualities, such as thoughtfulness, kindness, and sense of humor. Teens long for unconditional love and acceptance. Calling these things out in your teen makes them feel valued and secure.
9.Take time for some rest
This fast-paced time causes stress for teens who have to absorb so much stress all the time. Use the wonderful gift from God called, rest. Make some downtime a priority in your home. Also, some of the best brain foodscan do wonders for addressing anxiety, especially among teens.
10.Escape from the stress and anxiety
Teens hear in their inward being that they are insignificant. Some teens feel that they are never good enough. Don’t try to make your teen ‘perfect’ by telling them “you should do better or you must do better.” Watch how they thrive when they get non-judgmental support. Show them that you love them no matter what!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do when my teen doesn’t want my help or professional help?
Maybe the next thing to do is to look for some role models like a teacher or a coach – someone your child looks up to and whom they can identify with. Also, see what self-help apps or resources are available online and share them with your teen. Instead of focusing on fixing things, it is often better to spend real quality time together.
How do you know when your child actually needs professional help?
Some people experience such intense anxiety that professional help may be needed. Typical symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are:
- Can’t focus – see tips to improve memory
- Skewed perspective
- Nervous tics and twitches
- Isolating themselves and avoiding people
- Sleep disorders
How much anxiety is ‘normal’ for a child or teen to have to deal with?
Fears and worries in children are common and developmentally appropriate. We’ve all seen tiny infants startle, their lips pucker, and they burst into frantic wails. Toddlers often develop a fear of darkness or imaginary creatures or being separated from their parents. Teens usually experience fear and anxiety about social status, school performance, and pressure from caretakers or parents.(source)
All these fears can become problematic if they don’t subside over time or become so severe that the child or teen can no longer function properly. Professional experts will distinguish normal developmental stress and anxiety that requires further intervention. They will be able to tell you if your child needs medication as well.
There are a lot of reasons why kids get anxious. These might include school pressures, social pressures, and family life. It’s not only adults who are affected by mental health conditions, children can suffer from anxiety that reaches beyond the ‘normal’ fears of childhood. Between 6% and 18% of children and teens are affected by anxiety disorders that lead to depression, poor academic performance, and in some cases, drug use.
Adolescence is a time when teens are searching for their identities. This time comes with tremendous changes in the brain, changes that can be a natural trigger for anxiety in teens. This is the time they are worried about how they fit into society. Parents and good educators can help reduce this anxiety by normalizing it. And these days, with so much anxiety in teens around, they often underestimate just what impact stress has on their mental and physical health.
There is support out there for you. If you have observed several of the above symptoms in yourself or your child, reach out to a professional or Christian counselor.
The Final Takeaways
- There’s nothing abnormal about worrying about stuff when it gets complicated and hectic. We try and deal with it as best as we can; breathe in-breathe out until the moment passes.
- The stress and anxietyin teenagers can last for a few hours to a few days.
- When worries start to become overwhelming where excessive amounts of time are being spent, being wound up and nervous, and your sleep pattern is being affected, you might be displaying an anxiety disorder.
- Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, uneasiness, fear, worry, or dread of what is about to happen. Even though a lot of these situations don’t threaten a person’s safety, they can cause someone to feel “threatened.”
- There are tips to calm your mind and bodyfrom anxiety.
References https://www.developmentalscience.com/blog/2019/5/7/our-teens-are-more-stressed-than-ever  https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf  https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/about-mental-illness/learn-more-about-conditions/anxiety-disorders/  https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html