Like adults, teenagers also face a variety of stresses. It could be because of so many activities in the school couple with lots of homework. Some may be dealing with bullies or peer pressure at school. Stress could come as a result of different challenges which they face every day. Before you tell your daughter that she’s too young to know what stress is, consider some reasons why life might seem so overwhelming to your young teenage girl. Knowing these reasons will enable you to help your daughter to deal with stress.
Reasons Why Your Teenage Daughter Is Stressed Out
1. Physical changes: The major growth spurt of puberty can cause a young teenage girl considerable anxiety, especially if it started late or early compared to her peers. According to Christina, now 21, she says, “I was one of the first girls among my classmates to have to wear a bra, and I felt so uncomfortable and awkward with myself,”
“It felt as if I were a mutant compared to my age group.” She added.
2. Social pressure: Peer groups play a vital role in young people’s lives, especially during adolescence. Many kids in school are mean to anyone who stood out differently. The feeling that one may be left out can be devastating, and acceptance to a group may be crucial.
3. Emotional changes: It’s not uncommon for a teen to be laughing one minute and rolling her eyes the next. Most times, these rapid and intense mood shifts are a normal part of adolescence. But sometimes, it is a sign of a more serious problem. As teens mature, they usually experience heightened irritability, extreme sadness, and frequent frustration due to their brains’ chemical changes. (1)
Michel, now 17, recalls: “It was so frustrating not grasping why I would be so cheerful during the morning and later, during the evening, I would be sobbing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Sometimes, It feels as if my emotions were out of control.”
4. The onset of the menstrual cycle: The first period usually caught teenage girls off guard when it occurs even though their parents prepared them. A young woman named Lucy says. “I took many baths a day because I felt dirty most of the time. Also, my whole ordeal of getting periods was funny for my older brother, and he would taunt me mercilessly.”
8 Ways To Help Your Daughter Deal With Stress.
1. Take your daughter’s stresses seriously: Your daughter is still young. She does not have your kind of experience in life. She has little with which to compare her stresses, much less acquire the skills to address them. So do all you can to help her lighten the weight off her shoulders. Tell her similar experiences you had as a teenager, and what helps you to manage the stress effectively.
2. Encourage your daughter to talk about their stress: At first, it will be difficult for your teen to open up to you about what she is facing. So this may make her reluctant to talk about her feelings. It would be best to be patient with her. Give her a listening ear and be slow when speaking with her. She will gradually tell you her challenge.
If you are trying to get your teens to talk, leaving some silence will allow them to fill that silence with conversation.
3. Let kids be problem-solvers: When your daughter feels stressed, It’s natural as a parent to jump in quickly and try to fix the problems. But when parents dive in to solve every little issue, their children don’t have an opportunity to learn healthy ways to cope with their problems. Allow them to try to find a solution to the little issues they have on their own. This will help them to be able to tackle bigger stressors as they grow into adults.
4. Make sure your daughter gets enough rest: Teenagers often neglect to get adequate sleep. Most teenagers spend so much of their time playing games, chatting with friends, or using social networks. Your daughter not getting enough rest may hinder her thinking skills, and her ability to ward off stress will be weakened.
Adequate sleep plays a major role in your children’s good health and well-being throughout their life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help your daughter deal with stress, protect her mental health, physical health, and quality of life.
5. Do not overburden your teen with too many extracurricular activities: Extracurricular activities are ways for kids to be social in a more relaxed environment. They also use this opportunity to meet and enjoy things with other kids who have similar interests. However, it would be best not to overburden your kids with too many extracurricular activities, as this could increase their stress levels.
According to the book Teach Your Children Well, youths whose schedules are overly packed “often show signs of stress, especially physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches.
6. Help your teenage daughter find healthy outlets for stress: For some girls, work out reduces anxiety. Some young girls find that keeping a journal helps them put their stress in perspective. Encourage your daughter to keep a note of the problems she couldn’t work out. Doing this will help her to understand her issues, how she felt about it. That way, it would be easier to solve them or just let it go. When we’re out of stress and in control of what goes on in our lives, there will be less internal chaos.
7. Create family routines: Family routines can be exceptionally comforting for your kid during stressful times. Having movie nights or dinner nights as a family can help your daughter deal with the day’s stress and give both of you a chance to connect.
Also, other beneficial routine ideas for the whole family can include:
- Preparing and eating meals together.
- Catching up with extended family members and friends.
- Having regular walks after dinner or movie nights.
- Taking turns talking about the day.
- Spending special one-to-one time with parents.
- Catching up with extended family and friends.
8. Lead by example: How do you, as a parent, manage or cope with stress? Do you try to do more than you can handle and then panic when getting things done? Remember, your teenager is watching you and learning how you handle stressful situations, especially when things get a little bit tough. So you want to show them how it is done by living it.
In addition to verbal instruction, leading by example has a profound influence on children. Your kids are going to imitate them, whether you like it or not. So how you manage or deal with stress in front of your teenage daughter will go a long way to helping her succeed in managing her own stress.
Stress in teens is not always the same as those in adults. Teens can find healthy ways to cope like adults. With your guidance and support as a parent, you can help your daughter spot the signs of stress and deal with it effectively.